Newly minted Minister of Information Neth Pheaktra on September 13 emphasised the pivotal role that news outlets play as a bridge between the government and the people, during a courtesy call by the management of The Phnom Penh Post.
Under the current mandate, Pheaktra said the ministry – which currently operates radio stations, television channels, magazines and its own news agencies – aims to strengthen public information networks, transforming them into a national platform with significant influence.
He noted that the ministry is also promoting digital distribution via social media platforms, in addition to has websites, Telegram groups and other online broadcasting capabilities.
“Within the framework of the information ministry, we must establish an official public relations body that is proactive, interactive, effective and of high quality. The objective is to make it the voice of the government, disseminating information to the public,” he explained.
Pheaktra noted that in today's digital landscape, information on internet-based platforms is disseminated quickly but often contains an excess of inaccurate or fake news. As a result, even though online dissemination is rapid, traditional media cannot be sidelined, he said, adding that time-honoured publications remain reliable and accurate sources of information that will serve as references for years to come.
During his meeting with The Post management team, led by its CEO Yem Sacnita and managing editor Sam Rith, Pheaktra lauded the publication for sharing information about Cambodian society to the international community. He highlighted the significance of Post Media’s news stories in English that has helped to change international perceptions of Cambodia.
Recently, national news has been gaining traction, thereby allowing the global community to witness Cambodia's economic growth and development – a marked contrast to past perceptions, which focused mostly on the Khmer Rouge's genocidal regime and mass killings.
“As it stands, when we type the word 'Cambodia' into a search engines now, we are no longer confronted with predominantly negative narratives about the country. Instead, discussions have shifted towards economic growth, tourism, real estate and other significant topics – all crucial contributions from the press in conveying a balanced view of the nation,” he added.
Sam Rith said at the meeting that The Post has been, and still is, an independent and in-depth news outlet that is committed to the core principles of journalism, delivering quality reporting to both domestic and foreign readers.
“We have maintained our stance on independence and in-depth coverage. The Post continues to serve as a model newspaper, adhering to the ethical and professional codes of journalism,” he said.