The Ministry of Information has urged all media outlets to disseminate educational messages on drug and traffic issues during the Pchum Ben festival from September 14-29.
In a letter signed by Minister of information Khieu Kanharith on Monday, the ministry said the media played an important role in raising public awareness of drugs and traffic accidents which had detrimental effects on society.
The ministry called on the public to stay away from drugs and exercise caution when travelling on the roads as people will flock to their hometowns before and during the holidays.
“Motorists will clog the roads during Pchum Ben, so please drive carefully to avoid accidents that can lead to the loss of lives and properties,” said the letter.
Hang Meas TV deputy director-general Meas Rithy told The Post on Monday that the station would comply.
“We will double our broadcast of anti-drug and traffic issues. I’ve noticed that some media outlets have done well in disseminating such educational messages, but others have not done so on a regular basis,” he said.
Nop Vy, the director of the Cambodian Centre for Independent Media (CCIM), said while he welcomed the appeal, he urged the ministry to monitor media outlets that continue to advertise alcohol.
He said while alcohol accounts for a big chunk of revenues for the media, it is also a main cause of traffic accidents.
“We do not advertise alcohol and cigarettes. We don’t even publish information about overseas [job opportunities] for Cambodian migrant workers that could put them at risk. We have done a lot of things to address the issue.
“We haven’t decided on an [educational] campaign for the Phchum Ben festival yet, as our resources are still limited. But there are many media outlets in Cambodia, so they should take part in the campaign and help reduce or stop advertising alcohol and cigarettes,” he said.