The Ministry of Information has updated the number of media institutions that are registered, noting that more than 2,000 outlets have undergone the mandatory process as of the end of 2021. However, the ministry also revoked the licences of 15 media entities for violating the law or non-renewal by the owners.
Phos Sovann, head of the ministry’s General Department of Information and Broadcasting, said most of the licences that were revoked belonged to online media outlets.
Sovann told The Post on January 5 that there were a total of 2,017 outlets registered, including 706 websites and 81 video news outlets and 23 of those are under foreign-owned.
“We have revoked some licences due to their violations of the law. Some others just expired and some are revoked at the owners’ request because they had gone out of business and were no longer broadcasting or publishing,” he said.
He also noted that Cambodia has a total of 50 media associations, 193 magazines, 22 bulletin newsletters, 114 printing houses, 22 book publishers and 26 foreign news agencies with local representative offices.
The report also mentions that the Kingdom has 83 FM radio stations in the Phnom Penh area alone and 137 more stations in the provinces. There is only one AM radio station in the capital.
In the television broadcasting industry, there are 19 analogue and eight digital TV stations along with two cable TV service providers in Phnom Penh that bundle access to both local and international channels. There are 210 TV stations in the provinces, seven OTT systems and two satellite TV service providers.
“To ensure fairness and transparency in the process for revocation of media licences, the minister has formed a committee on journalism ethics that will evaluate each case before the final decision is made. They will determine whether the media outlet has been operating ethically and give their recommendation,” he said.
Pen Bona, president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said on January 5 that he was pleased to see the media flourishing in Cambodia as it demonstrates the progress of press freedom and the availability of a wealth of information to the public.
He urged institutions and journalists to respect journalism’s professional code of ethics in order to be of benefit and use to society.
“There are many Cambodian broadcasters and publishers who behave ethically and act professionally. But there are some institutions that do not respect the professional code of ethics even though they have licences and name cards that say journalist on them.
“Those who report fake news or traffic in gossip are doing an unacceptable disservice to the public at large and demeaning and devaluing the press as an institution,” he said.