Fourteen journalists from five different periodicals have been selected to receive “Inspirational Journalism Awards” for their contributions to the promotion of journalism in the Kingdom. The award ceremony is scheduled for March 24.
This programme was initiated by the Ministry of Information to commemorate the dedication, sacrifices and physical and mental strength of those who have contributed to the development of journalism in Cambodia from the 1970s to the present.
Phos Sovann, head of the ministry’s General Department of Information and Broadcasting, said this is the first year of the programme. The organising committee selected veteran journalists to study the backgrounds, achievements and qualifications of the candidates and submitted them to an evaluation committee for review.
Sovann told The Post on March 16 that the programme was intended to thank veteran journalists who continue to work in the media.
“The Cambodia Inspiration Journalism Awards will be presented to journalists for their work in each decade from the 1970s until now,” he said.
He added that the journalists selected had contributed to their field, which in turn had benefited society. The programme was launched by information minister Khieu Kanharith to show his gratitude for their work.
He said the minister intends to continue the programme in the future, although it will depend on how many sponsors and supporters it attracts. Ideally, the event will become an annual event which will coincide with a national event, such as the day journalists meet with Prime Minister Hun Sen, or World Press Freedom Day.
Journalists from the 1970s include Chet Sorn – editor of Phnom Penh Thmey News and head of administration at the Club of Cambodian Journalists – and Prum Say, editor of Areythor News.
The representatives from the 1980s are Teav Sarakmony, editor of the Rasmei Kampuchea Daily; Pech Bunra, editor of Hang Meas; and Chea Sundaneth, general director of Radio FM102.
For the 1990s, the awards are presented to Soy Sopheap, general director of DAP NEWS; Moeun Chhean Nariddh, editor of Khmer Times and director of Cambodia Institute for Media Studies; and Chun Sophal, a journalist with Angkor Thom magazine.
The winners from the 2000s are May Titthara, media specialist for Internews in Cambodia, and Ly Menghour, a Journalist with PNN TV.
For the decade that begun in 2010, awards are presented to Phak Seangly, chief of staff at the Phnom Penh Post; Van Saray, deputy editor of Fresh News; Men Maosamnang, reporter with PNN TV; and Nhek Srey Leak, editor of Thmey 25.
Chhean Nariddh told The Post that he was glad to accept the award – not only for himself, but for his former colleagues. He said he had never expected to receive recognition or commendations after covering the news for around 30 years.
“We are glad that the ministry, on behalf of the government, has welcomed and recognised the efforts of veteran journalists. We hope this recognition will encourage various institutions to respect journalism and inspire the younger generation to take up the baton of the veterans when they retire,” he said.
Srey Leak, a popular 24-year-old journalist who was nicknamed “Neang Thmey” by Prime Minister Hun Sen, said she was glad to have been selected for the award.
“I would like the ministry or other partners to continue to encourage journalism by providing awards that will encourage young journalists or reward those who have dedicated a lot of time to their work,” she said.
The Inspirational Journalism Award programme was initiated by the information ministry in collaboration with and co-sponsored by Thmey Thmey News and the TNAOT App.
Prum Seila, content director of Tnaot News, said the purpose of his news outlet was to promote the field of journalism and connect more closely with local journalists – to increase content diversity to the Cambodian public.
“We chose to be involved with this award programme to give formal recognition to the leading individual in each period. Their physical and intellectual contributions to news coverage,and to the industry as a whole, stimulated the growth of the field,” he said.