MY PHNOM PENH: Neang Sovathana, television presenter

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Neang Sovathana, 28, got her start as an ‘agony aunt’ on local radio and is now a presenter on PNN TV’s Morning News show.

MY PHNOM PENH: Neang Sovathana, television presenter


Content image - Phnom Penh Post

When PNN TV [owned by ruling party Senator Ly Yong Phat] launched earlier this year, I applied for a news presenter position because I wanted to learn something new. I’m now learning on the job.

I want to work for an ethical TV station, so if I find there is bias in this channel, I will just quit and do more freelance work instead.

After two months, I’m happy with what I’m doing because I’m getting more experience. It’s a good job to meet people and I enjoy it.

It makes me happy to interview people and it is still funny to me when my cameraman follows me around like a presenter.

Sometimes, students run away when they see the camera, but occasionally people will recognise me and come and say hello.

But even though I work for PNN TV, I haven’t quit my freelance jobs as a translator, MC, event organiser, et cetera.

Sarika Radio Station

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Sarika Radio is the local radio station where I first started my career as a radio presenter doing a love-consultant program.

It was very successful, and I got a lot of listeners. I started when I was 22 years old, and no one in my family believed that a girl so young could give advice on love problems.

I didn’t have anyone to teach me about this but I could do it well, and after my first show many people started calling in to ask me questions.

Most people who came to me had suffered discrimination, like transgender people, girls who had lost their virginity before marriage and beer garden girls.

Some people ask me how I’m able to solve all these problems, but the callers usually already have the solution – I just help them to work it out.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post is a new phone app and website that I’m launching next week where people can watch my videos and inspirational clips and read my advice articles.

I have a team to help me with it. I’ve found recently that the internet is a great way to reach people.

When I posted my first video on Facebook, my “likes” went up from 22,000 to 112,000.

Since I stopped broadcasting my radio program, my app, website and Facebook have become my new channel to reach more people.

I don’t get money from Facebook, but I just want to help listeners in an easy way.

This career is important because I can listen and respond to all the problems that their parents would never get a chance to help with.

For example, I encouraged one girl to file a complaint because her boyfriend raped her. It’s sometimes not only love but other real-life problems too.

Wat Botum Park

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Wat Botum Park is a public park that people go to relax located south of the Royal Palace and west of Wat Botum.

It has a nice environment and is one of my favorite relaxing places. I like to do hip-hop dancing there.

Since I start work so early, I go there after work around 4pm or 5pm every day. And since I need to sleep early, I dance from 6pm until 8:30pm.

When I first started going there six or seven years ago, there was not many young people who liked to do it, but they are coming more and more nowadays.

Date restaurant

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The vegetarian noodle restaurant behind the Royal Palace is my favourite place to go on dates with my boyfriend.

We actually met there seven years ago and we’ve been dedicated customers ever since.

There’s also some really delicious street food around there too. My boyfriend doesn’t like eating at expensive restaurants, even though we can afford it, so we always go to simple places.

It is not about money anyway. It’s the taste that’s important.

I admit that I do eat Western food sometimes, but it seems like young people these days are always meeting up at upmarket restaurants or expensive cafes and bubble tea shops.

I don’t know how they can afford it.


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