The president of Cambodia’s Anti-Corruption Unit has opposed a freelance journalist’s bid to call his newspaper Anti-Corruption News because he thinks people will associate it with the ACU.
In a letter to Information Minister Khieu Kanharith dated February 17 and obtained by the Post yesterday, Om Yentieng asks that a media licence application by freelance journalist Ros Sokhet be rejected.
“I want [Khieu Kanharith] to intervene and make Ros Sokhet choose another name for his newspaper to avoid confusion,” Om Yentieng said.
“There are many other names in our Khmer language that Ros Sokhet can use for his newspaper that are useful for his ideal.”
Ros Sokhet, 43, a freelance journalist who plans to publish a four-page black-and-white weekly newspaper, told the Post yesterday that he had planned to request the ACU’s permission to use “Anti-Corruption” in the name of his newspaper, but the corruption-fighting unit had already protested before he had time to discuss the name with its officials.
Ros Sokhet, who spent a year in prison in 2009 and 2010 on disinformation charges, said fears of public confusion between the work of the newspaper and the work of the ACU were unfounded.
“What about human-rights organisations who use the name ‘human rights’ – the same phrase as in the name of political party Human Rights Party?” Ros Sokhet said, adding he would send another letter to the ACU president and the Information Minister to explain the importance of the newspaper’s name.
“If they want to delete ‘corruption,’ they have to have permission from me,” he said.
“The Ministry of Information said it would give me the licence immediately if I agreed to change my newspaper’s name when I went to meet them two weeks ago, but I did not agree.”
Nhem Noy, director of the Information Department at the Ministry of Information, said the minister would grant the licence if Ros Sokhet had agreement from the ACU.