Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Spokespeople for gov’t require review: official



Spokespeople for gov’t require review: official

Spokespeople for gov’t require review: official

A senior official at the Ministry of Information has called on the government to review spokespeople at ministries and replace those who are not doing their job properly.

Cambodian journalists have long complained of difficulties in dealing with key ministries or government departments, with appointed spokespeople often refusing to answer questions or simply not picking up the phone.

Ouk Kimseng, a press adviser to the MOI and the deputy director-general of state news agency AKP, made the comments during a workshop for spokespeople on Tuesday.

“My comments were that I suggest the government review the appointment of certain spokespersons at some of the governmental institutions because those who have been appointed as a spokesperson must know their role and responsibility with the media,” he said yesterday.

The MOI often receives informal messages from journalists complaining about the issue, he added.

“Spokespersons are supposed to do something like journalists. They need to know a lot, read a lot, [know] how to talk to the press, how to convey the message.… So they should appoint the right person and send them for training about journalism and the role of a spokesman.”

Ignoring phone calls from reporters, Kimseng continued, displayed “a lack of responsibility” for the appointed job.

Um Sarin, president of the Cambodian Association for Protection of Journalists, said that only a few ministries had spokespeople who “dare to speak to reporters”, citing the Council of Ministers, City Hall and the Foreign Affairs Ministry as examples.

“The rest are difficult because some officials, they do not dare to say [anything] because it’s a risk for him or her, and other guys, they say they do not know clearly about that point. So all the journalists have difficulty getting comment from them,” he said.

Although the government announced reshuffles and training for spokespeople in the past, the situation has not improved, he added.

“[For a] long time, the problem has been the same.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Courts’ decisions now published as reference source

    The Ministry of Justice has published 44 verdicts from civil litigation cases which can be used as models for court precedents and for study by the public and those who work in pertinent fields. Publication of the verdicts on December 31 came as the result of joint

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • China firm to develop Mondulkiri airport

    Tourism to the Kingdom’s northeast corridor could experience a remarkable metamorphosis after the government decided in principle of a Chinese company to study and develop a proposal to build a regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province, according to industry insiders. The Council of Ministers said