Government officials are finally letting Ros Sokhet publish his newspaper, and he only had to change the name – twice.
The Khmer Nation, called Revelation-Corruption News in a former life, and Anti-Corruption News in the life before that one, is supposed to hit newsstands today in Phnom Penh.
Ros Sokhet, 43, said he printed 1,000 copies of the four-page, black and white weekly.
The paper, put together with a staff of six salaried reporters, costs 1,000 riel (US$0.25).
Earlier this year, officials from the Ministry of Information rejected the two previous choices on the basis of the word “corruption”.
They felt his readers would associate the name with the Anti-Corruption Unit, formed to weed out graft and criminal activity among holders of public office.
A freelance journalist and publisher, Ros Sokhet spent a year in prison in 2009 and 2010 on disinformation charges.
Judging by the first batch of articles set for publication today, one of which says relatives of Prime Minister Hun Sen are helping to destroy the country, life behind bars does not seem to have cowed The Khmer Nation publisher.
“I’m doing this for my country, because I want to erase corruption from society. We don’t have power to stop these rich people, but we will stop them indirectly,” Ros Sokhet said.
Seventy per cent of his newspaper will focus on economic land concessions and the powerful abusing the weak.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at [email protected]