Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New paper promises neutral view

New paper promises neutral view

New paper promises neutral view

090115_04.jpg
090115_04.jpg

But media observers say staff ties to opposition Sam Rainsy Party could affect coverage

Photo by: HENG CHIVOAN

Copies of the new Khmer-language paper Khmer Nation on sale at newsstands Wednesday in Phnom Penh.

THE Khmer Nation, a new Khmer-language newspaper purported to be politically neutral, debuted Monday with an eight-page issue the publisher says will come out five days a week for distribution in 18 provinces.

Publisher Sun Chanthy said the paper would cover Cambodian political, economic, human rights and security issues from a "neutral and independent perspective", though some media observers said the former political ties of several staff members might derail this mission.

Sun Chanthy acknowledged that some members of his 15-person staff have formerly worked for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, but he said this would not affect the paper's coverage.

"It's true that some of our reporters had worked for the opposition before, but it's not important," he said. "It's our position that's important."

Doubts about neutrality

Ou Virak, spokesman for the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, said the launch of any newspaper is a positive development but expressed his doubts that this one would be independent.

"If the newspaper is launched with financial support from a political party, I think it will be an instrument for party propaganda," he said.

Sun Chanthy declined to say where the paper received its start-up funding.

Only time will tell whether the paper genuinely wants to play a neutral role, said Naly Pilorge, the director of rights group Licadho.

"The current situation, unfortunately, is that we don't get responsible information," she said. "We get only one-sided information."

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on