Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Voice of America planning to discuss buying air-time

Voice of America planning to discuss buying air-time

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith (centre right) permitted Voice of America (VOA) to buy airtime from Beehive Radio FM 105 and Radio FM 102. This came after a meeting between him and US Ambassador Patrick Murphy (centre left). AGENCE KAMPUCHEA PRESSE

Voice of America planning to discuss buying air-time

Voice of America (VOA) has contacted Beehive Radio FM 105 and Radio FM 102 to discuss buying air-time to broadcast again, they said. VOA had recently received approval from the Minister of Information to go on air.

Mam Sonando, the director of Beehive Radio, told The Post on Sunday that a VOA representative had made an appointment to discuss buying air-time.

“VOA contacted me, and as long as they now meet me and buy air-time, I can contact [Minister of Information] Khieu Kanharith.

“The appointment has been made for between December 10 and 15. I can then prepare the documents to request the Ministry of Information,” Sonando said.

Sun Daneth, the director of Radio 102, said a VOA representative planned to meet her to discuss buying air-time. She said Radio 102 had previously broadcast VOA for one-and-a-half-hours a day.

“VOA wants to choose any time, so we will have to meet for discussions first,” Daneth said.

Bridget Ann Serchak, the director of public relations at VOA, did not respond to a request for comment from The Post on Sunday.

Kanharith permitted VOA to buy air-time from the two radio stations. This came after a meeting between him and US Ambassador Patrick Murphy.

Murphy said it was part of efforts by the US and Cambodia to cooperate in the media sector.

Ministry of Information spokesman Meas Sophorn said the ministry had allowed VOA to broadcast again with Beehive Radio and Radio FM 102 as it had fulfilled its legal requirements, such as registering its representative office in Phnom Penh.

The ministry recognised it in June.

Sophorn said VOA must still fulfil further obligations under the relevant laws and regulations, and apply to the Ministry of Information for permission to buy air-time from local radio stations.

He said the ministry did not allow Radio Free Asia to broadcast because it had in the past used improper language in reference to the government, such as “Phnom Penh regime”.

However, he said it would reconsider its position if Radio Free Asia were to act in a fully legal manner like VOA.

“The ministry will review the attitude of the broadcaster regarding the legal requirements Radio Free Asia has to fulfil,” Sophorn said.

Moeun Chhean Narith, a lecturer in media, said some media outlets had in the past been closed in due to the political situation.

“If the media is allowed to enjoy full broadcasting rights, with voices from all communities and countries, it will be a positive development and a sign of the re-growth of democracy in Cambodia,” Chhean Narith said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

    The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Eighty replacement peacekeepers set for Mali mission despite Covid

    Eighty Cambodian blue helmet soldiers who completed the peacekeeping mission under the UN umbrella in Mali will return to Cambodia on Friday, said the Centre for Peacekeeping Forces spokeswoman Kosal Malida. “To protect their families and communities from the Covid-19 pandemic, the 80 are required to

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this