Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Foreign press ‘interfering’: CPP lawmaker

Foreign press ‘interfering’: CPP lawmaker

Foreign press ‘interfering’: CPP lawmaker

A senior ruling party official yesterday accused foreign journalists and media outlets in Cambodia of interfering in the Kingdom’s governance and urging political instability.

Speaking to reporters in the capital, Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker and National Assembly spokesman Chheang Vun said a number of journalists – including from the Post – needed to review their approach to reporting issues in Cambodia or face possible legal action.

“[I] would like to tell the foreign press that have interfered deeply in political governance in Cambodia, please think about this carefully,” he said, adding that those reporting in Cambodia needed to decide whether they were journalists or political activists. “This is not a threat – it is a request for them to be professional.”

But Vun singled out the Post as an example of a media outlet that must “take responsibility” for their reporting or face the consequences.

The Phnom Penh Post must write properly what I said. If they write it wrong, I will take them to court,” he said.

Vun also said that some journalists were “urging violence”, but did not specify whether they worked for local or foreign-owned outlets.

Media analyst Moeun Chhean Nariddh, director of the Cambodia Institute for Media Studies, was not surprised by Vun’s targeting of media outlets that the government doesn’t control.

“I think the [communist] mentality has continued with some officials, and lawmakers who think that any media outlet that does not support the CPP is against them,” he said.

Chhean Nariddh said he had not seen examples of foreign media in Cambodia interfering in issues of governance.

“I have followed international journalism practices here for more than 20 years,” he said. “What international presses have done in Cambodia is follow [international standards]. We’re lucky to have international media organisations … working as role models for local journalists and media outlets.”

Pa Nguon Tieng, president of the Cambodian Center for Independent Media, said the focus of international media outlets was not where Vun suggested it was.

“If [foreign or independent] news outlets are not reporting the news that is happening, in the long run, they won’t get advertising,” he said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHANE WORRELL

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the