European Union (EU) Ambassador George Edgar made an official visit to The Phnom Penh Post on Wednesday.
During his visit, Edgar had an hour-long chat with Post Media CEO Ly Tayseng and The Post’s executive editor-in-chief, Joshua Purushotman, on a range of topics including the newspaper’s editorial direction, the political situation in Cambodia, deforestation, and the EU’s vision for Cambodia, among others.
Tayseng explained the controversy surrounding the takeover of The Post and the inaccuracies reported therein. He also assured the ambassador that the newspaper’s legacy as an independent journal will continue.
“The most valuable asset in the purchase of The Post is its legacy and reputation for independent reporting. If we do not continue in this line, then all the money spent on its purchase and ongoing revamp will be wasted.
“In fact, we [the management] are very clear in this. The newspaper is neither pro- nor anti-government, but is determined to present news that is independent, neutral and balanced,” Tayseng stressed.
Adding to this, Purushotman pointed out that the editorial independence of The Post had not suffered in any way since the official takeover from the previous owners on May 7.
He was referring to early reports from various international media which claimed The Post’s sale to Malaysian businessman Sivakumar S Ganapathy spelt the death knell for independent journalism in Cambodia.
Purushotman stressed that no reporter in the English or Khmer version of the newspaper has ever been told to practise any form of censorship.
“The Post has not changed. In fact, it has only become better. Our reporting is more balanced and neutral, giving both sides of the story. We give as much coverage to the opposition and their politicians such as Sam Rainsy as we do politicians from the Cambodian People’s Party,” he said.
On his part, Edgar assured The Post that his office can always be contacted for comments relating to the EU vis-à-vis Cambodia and other relevant areas.