Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Journos demand apology

Journos demand apology

Members of the press gather at the entrance to the Senate in Phnom Penh as politicians depart after a political meeting in 2014.
Members of the press gather at the entrance to the Senate in Phnom Penh as politicians depart after a political meeting in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Journos demand apology

A group representing more than 20 media organisations yesterday appealed for the government to intervene after commentators on Radio ABC Cambodia described journalists as “thieves”.

The group, including the Union of Journalist Federations of Cambodia, penned a letter urging Information Minister Khieu Kanharith to immediately “educate” staff of Radio ABC 107.5, claiming they had smeared journalists and public officials alike in recent days.

The letter requested a public apology from ABC Radio owner Seng Bunveng, known by the nickname “Aja A”, pointing out that the station had slammed doctors as “terrible”, KTV workers as “prostitutes” and journalists as “thieves”.

Aja A could not be reached yesterday but, in one of the offending commentaries, said “everyone knows that some journalists extort the money illegally”, and suggested journalists wrote favourable reports only when they were presented with envelopes full of cash.

Moeun Chhean Nariddh, director of the Cambodian Institute for Media Studies, said that while it was not fair to paint all journalists with the same brush, many were indeed extortionists or thieves, as the radio commentators claimed.

“Some journalists in the provinces are not on payroll, so they try to make a little bit of money, for example, by taking bribes from illegal timber traders or other businesses.”

He also noted that journalists demanding a public apology or filing a lawsuit – also flagged as an option – was counter to their mandate. “We are in the profession that promotes freedom of expression . . . They may ask for a correction or they can issue a statement to clarify.”

Additional reporting by Erin Handley

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in