Minister of Information Neth Pheaktra met with Thai ambassador Cherdkiat Atthakor and a delegation from the Journalists Association of Thailand at the ministry headquarters in Phnom Penh on October 2 to discuss strengthening information cooperation in order to combat misinformation, said a ministry press release.

“The longer we allow fake news to spread widely, the more seriously it affects society and the people. Therefore, we need to take timely steps to suppress it,” said the statement.

Pheaktra described twin Cambodia-Thai radio station cooperation near the border as an important part of disseminating information related to the two countries, as it allows people to receive detailed, factual information. In particular, they will have access to information related to the laws of the two countries, so they are less likely to be deceived by brokers and will feel secure working.

“The Thai ambassador agreed with the minister. He pledged to continue to strengthen cooperation, with a focus on improving the capacity of journalists through the exchange of visits between Cambodian and Thai journalists and the training of human resources,” added the release.

It said the ministry had suggested that the Thai side help to train Cambodian journalists.

“We focused mainly on information security. First, the Cambodian people need to receive detailed information. Second, it must be of quality. And third, it must be factual and not fake news. We need to cooperate to combat disinformation,” it added.

In an October 2 social media post, the Thai embassy said the meeting aimed to connect journalists between the two countries and discuss cooperation in other areas.

“Both sides were of the view that journalists are an important tool for communicating, spreading information and creating awareness to the people at home and abroad. Therefore, journalists need to understand content and ways of communicating, and spreading clear and accurate information,” it said.

The ministry added that during the meeting, Piyawat Jriyasetapong, executive director of Thaicom, reiterated the telco’s continued support and cooperation with the ministry. It would share information via satellite on Thai national television stations, as well as some private stations.

Pheaktra noted that the ministry’s priority is to strengthen officials’ digital skills and preparedness to shift from analogue to digital.

“Therefore, we need efficient specialists. Cambodia will apply the ASEAN-set principles of digital dissemination, so we need to expand our capabilities. Thaicom has provided us with support in strengthening our officials’ skills in this area,” he said.