Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Journos feel pressure from above: report

Journos feel pressure from above: report

Journalists crowd around Sam Rainsy as he leaves a meeting at the Senate Building in 2014.
Journalists crowd around Sam Rainsy as he leaves a meeting at the Senate Building in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Journos feel pressure from above: report

A new survey has found that more than half of local journalists reported that the institutions they work for are not independent, with nearly 60 per cent saying they don’t feel free to do their jobs without fear of repercussions.

The Cambodian Center for Independent Media report interviewed 102 journalists from 43 institutions – publishing in Khmer, English and other languages – in 22 provinces.

Fifty-three per cent reported that the institutions they worked for were “not independent” due to direct and indirect government interference – including media ownership, licensing strictures and pressure on owners and publishers.

Meanwhile, 26 per cent of respondents said they had at one time or another been threatened with legal action as a result of their work, while 58 per cent did not “feel completely free to report on all subjects without fear of interference or repercussions”.

CCIM executive director Pa Ngoun Teang at the report’s launch that he took issue with government interference, saying that “outlets that do not listen to, or criticise, [the government] might face pressures”.

For journalists facing such pressures, he continued, working at compromised institutions means “working at a place that is not in their hearts”.

Phay Siphan, the government spokesman, contested the findings and maintained that the “government doesn’t have the power and resources to interfere in the media system, except when journalists extort money”.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Aeon, Micromax partner again for third mall

    AEON Mall (Cambodia) Co Ltd and a locally-owned Micromax Co Ltd have entered into a partnership agreement to develop fibre optic infrastructure for $200 million Aeon Mall 3, which is expected to be opened in 2023. The agreement was signed on June 20 between Masayuki Tsuboya, managing director of