Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Journos seek greater access

Journos seek greater access

Journos seek greater access

ABOUT 100 journalists from 21 news outlets across Cambodia gathered at a meeting in Phnom Penh yesterday and urged the government to adopt a policy on freedom of information.

The consultative meeting on access to information in Cambodia deemed that implementing an open government policy to freedom of information was essential to improving the quality of journalism in the Kingdom.

Lam Socheat, deputy director of the Advocacy and Policy Institute, said that during the consultative meeting in March 2006, the government promised to develop a clear policy framework for a freedom of information law that year.

“We know the Cambodian government has already developed a policy on freedom of information, but the policy has not yet been adopted,” he said.

Thach Pen, secretary of state at the Ministry of Information, confirmed that the policy had already been developed.

“The draft law on freedom of information is under the process and control of the government,” said Thach Pen. “The reason we are late in working on this is because we need more time to study it before finalising.”

For Sok Sovann, chairman of the Press Council of Cambodia, this policy would not only help accelerate social development and poverty reduction, but also prevent journalists from getting into legal troubles as a result of their reporting.

“I would like the Cambodian government to adopt this policy so that it will reduce the number of journalists who have been accused or arrested for misinformation.”

“[The policy] would prevent [the government] from accusing, arresting or jailing journalists in connection with misinformation in their reports and publications.”

He added that a freedom to information law would help journalists, and the public at large, get access to public policy, information on development projects and public expenditures.

This meeting follows a September plea from a coalition of 19 local and international coalitions asking the government to sign off on a freedom of information policy draft.

At the time, Som Kim Suor, minister of National Assembly-Senate Relations, said the draft policy was still under review and that the government would approve it by 2013.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman