Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minister: Avoid fake news

Minister: Avoid fake news

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith. Hean Rangsey

Minister: Avoid fake news

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said some people had been spreading false narratives under the guise of reporting news.

In his Facebook post on Monday, Kanharith said these actions affected the honour and dignity of professional reporters.

He said small and medium-sized enterprises had complained about unprofessional reporters asking for money. If the enterprises refused to give them money, they spread fake news saying that the enterprises had secretly sold illegal goods, which affected their businesses.

Kanharith’s Facebook post said: “Disorganised activities of unprofessional reporters refer to reporters who have no articles to be published. [These] reporters only have a small camera and mobile phone to broadcast on social media platforms. They have no regular agenda, but regularly ask for money.”

Citing enterprise owners, he said those unprofessional reporters had spread news without understanding commercial laws and standard procedures.

“I hope that all reporters will try to avoid professional misconduct and join hands to deal with imposter reporters for the sake of the dignity of professional reporters in Cambodia,” Kanharith said.

Chhaya Neath, the editor-in-chief of CPC News, said according to practical observations and reports from citizens, this phenomenon is affecting the professions of real reporters.

“When citizens, businesspeople or civil servants keep saying that reporters have become extortionists, it is really unacceptable.

“[I] hope that the Minister of Information will implement measures against these unprofessional and unethical reporters to uphold the value of professions dealing with information” he said.

Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ) president Pen Bona told The Post on Tuesday that currently, many individuals are disguising themselves as reporters to commit unethical acts which damage the reputation of professional reporters.

“There are a great many such individuals. Some are Facebook users who present themselves as reporters. Some others join hands to set up a group to go to a place to earn money.

“They do other activities, saying that they are reporters. But what they do does not reflect professional reporting ... their only interest is to serve themselves,” he said.

Bona said the public had mistaken the activities of imposters for those of real accredited reporters.

Hence, the Ministry of Information, he said, should take measures to distinguish occupational reporters from reporters who just present themselves as such.

Information and broadcasting director-general Phos Sovann told The Post on Tuesday that the ministry would not remain silent on the matter. It will lay out some measures to strengthen the implementation of the press law.

Spreading information in an unprofessional and incorrect manner and causing incitement is detrimental to the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises.

“We have laid out two main measures. The first is to set up legal standards to eliminate fake news. The other is to establish an educational mechanism and strengthen the implementation of the law on reporters,” he said.

Sovann said his ministry had cooperated with other ministries and institutions to strengthen the implementation of the law for local reporters who spread false news, incite violence and cause chaos in society.

The same applied to news websites not registered at the ministry and a small number of foreign newspapers based abroad.


  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there