Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - TV stations defend coverage of Kem Ley funeral march

TV stations defend coverage of Kem Ley funeral march

Kem Ley's funeral procession crosses the Chroy Changvar bridge in Phnom Penh earlier this week.
Kem Ley's funeral procession crosses the Chroy Changvar bridge in Phnom Penh earlier this week. Hong Menea

TV stations defend coverage of Kem Ley funeral march

State-run National Television of Kampuchea (TVK) yesterday defended its decision to provide limited coverage to Kem Ley’s funeral procession.

“We broadcasted the procession,” TVK director Kem Gunawadh told the Post. “The duration of the broadcast was almost seven minutes,” he added, before quickly correcting himself, acknowledging the broadcast was closer to two minutes. “We broadcasted what we could as the state media,” he said.

Other local stations also aired limited coverage of the parade, which drew tens, if not hundreds, of thousands in the capital.

“We aired a news spot lasting around two to three minutes,” said Huy Vannak, news editor for sister stations CTN and CNC. “As for the criticism, we cannot just do whatever the public wants. We have our own strategies. No one can force or twist us to do this or that.”

A day before the procession, TV outlets had been warned not to broadcast “images and content related to murder”, though the Information Ministry on Monday said it had only been reiterating pre-existing policy.

Facebook users complained about the lack of attention given the event, with multiple users claiming they had to seek out Thai and Singaporean outlets for more extensive coverage.

Moeun Chhean Naridh, director of the Cambodia Institute for Media Studies, said the credibility of TV stations was at stake.

“Credibility and public trust are hard to build,” Naridh said, claiming stations must choose “whether they want to serve the public interest, or to abide by the government order”.

MOST VIEWED

  • EU parliament’s 13-point vote to decide on possible sanctions

    The European Parliament is due to vote on Thursday on a 13-point resolution on Cambodia – which includes a call for the treason charges against bailed opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped – a threat that could see the EU enforce a range of sanctions against

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • PM vows to ‘protect’ Chinese interests

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday told Chinese companies investing in Cambodia not to worry about contract cancellation in the Kingdom. Speaking at a roundtable meeting with business executives in China as co-chair of the China-Asean Expo, the prime minister told six Chinese conglomerates with