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Hard-hitting news anchor resigns abruptly from CTN

Hard-hitting news anchor resigns abruptly from CTN

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Amid a dispute over his assertive style, news anchor Soy Sopheap has said he’ll no longer report for the network

Photo by: HENG CHIVOAN

Much-loved CTN personality Soy Sopheap has quit the station.

CONTROVERSIAL but much-loved television news anchor and reporter Soy Sopheap resigned from Cambodia Television Network (CTN) Monday following a dispute with management over his aggressive journalism.

Soy Sopheap, who gained a reputation for hard-hitting reports on topics such as land disputes, will no longer appear on the morning news, saying that he was unhappy at CTN.

In the wake of the host's departure, the channel will focus more on "soft news instead of hot and sensitive news", said Som Chhaya, the news editor at CTN.

Som Chhaya, under instructions from CTN chairman Kith Meng, told Soy Sopheap he would no longer be allowed to work as a news anchor but that he could still do some outside reporting, Soy Sopheap said.

"They said I could only work outside the studio to report news, so I decided to resign," he said.

"I know I made some reporting mistakes which displeased the management team at CTN," he added.

"I apologise to those viewers who have supported my reporting for not being able to inform them about my resignation first."

Som Chhaya admitted that Soy Sopheap's assertive style had become popular among viewers, and that CTN will be sad to see him leave.

"We want him doing reports from outside the studio," he said. But he added that Soy Sopheap had used CTN as an opportunity to attack individuals with harsh language, actions not in keeping with a professional journalist.

"For example, we do not want to hear him using ugly words on TV. It is like incitement," he said.

"He treats the CTN floor as a [political platform], but he is a journalist," he said.

Som Chhaya  told the Post Monday that ‘New Day from CTN', the morning program that Soy Sopheap used to anchor, will now be giving opportunities to a younger generation of anchors who will not act so much like politicians.

This will disappoint many of Soy Sopheap's fans who look to his show for information about Cambodia's most controversial topics, some regular audience members said.

Chiek Chumsophireak, a 35-year-old news watcher, said that he viewed the CTN morning news show because Soy Sopheap reported on contentious issues, something hard to find elsewhere on Cambodian television.

"I like the way he reported about sensitive news like land grabbing and illegal logging," he said.

"There are no other TV reports about that."

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