Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fake news guide for journos

Fake news guide for journos

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
UNESCO country representative to Cambodia Sardar Umar Alam. Heng Chivoan

Fake news guide for journos

UNESCO Cambodia and the Ministry of Information on Thursday released a handbook on journalism education and training entitled Fake News and Disinformation to help strengthen and enhance the professional capacity of journalists and journalism students in Cambodia.

The book, which was unveiled at a ceremony, aims to encourage journalists to verify their facts and ensure accuracy before publishing articles on public media platforms.

It is almost 200 pages and contains seven key lessons to provide journalists with a deep understanding of the profession.

UNESCO Cambodia and the ministry said one of a journalist’s most important roles is to prevent the spread of fake news and disinformation which is causing chaos in Cambodia and around the world.

Its country representative to Cambodia Sardar Umar Alam said at the ceremony that the progress of the internet has led to significant changes in media management policies.

Digital technology has facilitated the access to and use of large amounts of data for the media, Alam said.

Meanwhile, Alam said social media has been spreading fake news and disinformation, which has had effects on society.

“Through this handbook for journalism education and training, I believe that journalists and journalism students in Cambodia will gain additional knowledge.

“It will assist them in fact-checking and finding reliable information to write an article that is true and in line with the principles of freedom of expression,” he said.

Alam said that launching the Khmer-language handbook is part of UNESCO’s plan to address the spread of fake news, build trust in the media and enhance the credibility of the journalism profession.

The first secretary of the Embassy of Sweden to Cambodia Magnus Saemundsson attended the ceremony and said 15 years ago, only about one per cent of people in Cambodia had the internet or knew how to use it.

But the evolution of digital technology has led to rapid changes in the number of internet users in the Kingdom.

The latest data obtained from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications shows that as of the middle of this year, 56 per cent of people in Cambodia use the internet and have a high rate of information literacy.

He said some social media users have spread rumours causing social chaos which led to warnings from the authorities.

Recently, a false Covid-19 infection was reported in a Cambodian community on a social media network. The Ministry of Health rejected the claim and required the immediate removal of the rumour.

“Freedom of expression is a principle of democracy, but the publishing of information [in media] and information [published] on social networks without fact-checks will also cause chaos in a democratic society,” Saemundsson said.

He said in order to avoid spreading rumours and fake news, journalists need to fact-check information they receive before publishing it.

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said the spreading of fake news can affect the nation’s security.

He said the solution will require participation from everyone to provide and disseminate correct information. Through this handbook, he said journalists will receive additional guidance on the right to freedom of expression in terms of publishing stories.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa