Minister of Information Neth Pheaktra has reiterated the importance of traditional media, noting that it has an important role to play in a digital context, where true and false information are often mixed together. 

He cautioned that even though the modern media has expanded rapidly, especially through the growth of social media, traditional outlets still have a part to play in sharing information to the public.

He delivered his remarks as he chaired a January 22 meeting at the information ministry’s headquarters to review the ministry’s work in 2023 and set its working direction for 2024.

“The ministry has earned widespread praise and congratulations from the public, especially for the way it has introduced measures which regulate the field of online media. Some online journalists created problems, but we acted swiftly to resolve any issues that arose,” he said.

He also re-launched The Kampuchea newspaper, noting that the paper was first published 45 years ago. While the paper ceased publication some time ago, it will once again be available electronically, and eventually in print.

“January 25, 1979 is the birthday of The Kampuchea newspaper. We are re-opening the paper, in support of the Kingdom’s media environment. Many other traditional media outlets have closed their doors,” he explained.

“On the contrary, The Kampuchea newspaper belongs to us. It is the voice of the nation. We must all move forward, together. Now that we have a national newspaper, our voices will all be heard, and the government will be able to message the public more efficiently,” he said.

He added that the ministry has already begun examining the possibility of publishing a print edition. For now, it will produce an electronic issue in three languages –Khmer, English and French. 

Puy Kea, president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ) explained that the rapid development of digital media had driven a reduction in the consumption of traditional print media, such as newspapers and magazines. Cambodia was no exception.

“In the context of Cambodia, a small number of outlets are still producing print editions, so this is not a problem. We should retain our traditional media, as it has still has an important role to play,” he said.

“However, we don’t expect that they will attract large readerships. It is mostly older people who find it difficult to embrace new technology that seek out print media, so the numbers are likely to remain small,” he added.