While appreciating the majority of media and journalists, Prime Minister Hun Sen said a small handful of members of the media had violated their professional ethics by placing their personal interests ahead of journalistic integrity. Their publication of fake news had provoked outrage and led to disturbances in society.

In a letter to the 19th Editor’s Forum organised the Cambodia Journalists’ Club on December 17, he praised state and private media and journalists for their contributions to the anti-Covid campaign and for encouraging the public to get vaccinated. This enabled the Kingdom to reopen.

He also lauded the media for raising the profile of Cambodia through their reporting on the recent ASEAN Summits and related meetings.

He praised the journalist’s club for working alongside government institutions to provide training on the strengthening of media ethics and professionalism, as well as digital and analogue media literacy.

He warned, however, that there are still a handful media and journalists who have violated their ethics and professional standards by placing their personal interests first. He said they spread fake news, insults and provocations, causing conflict and division in society, affecting the dignity of professional journalists and causing the public to lose faith in the media.

“I want to offer some recommendations to the editor’s forum as a base for their discussion and planning. They should strengthen their ethics and professionalism and go against opportunists who hide behind the guise of being journalists if they want to maintain the value and dignity of media institutions,” he said.

He urged training on media professionalism and aspects of digital media to ensure journalists were up to date with the development of new technology.

“They must participate in combating fake news and avoid becoming agents that spread fake news, as these things could cause the country to fall into chaos and cause social disorder,” he added.

He urged the media to encourage the public to follow measures against Covid-19, to make sure their vaccines were up to date, and to promote next year’s 32nd SEA Games, which will be hosted by the Kingdom.