Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Turning Point in Cambodia's Traditional Media

AKP-Phnom Penh Saturday, October 23, 2010
by Ouk Kimseng
The issue of traditional news media in Cambodia is drawing ever stronger attention among journalists of the nation as new news media(internet publication including website, web blog or the 3rd generation of the internet that can be viewed via internet-connected desktop, laptop and mobile phone ) is dominating the readership market in the region and Cambodia as well.

On October 22, 2010, about 40 Cambodian journalists, most are editors, met in Phnom Penh at their regular forum to discuss several issues under the theme “New Stage of Journalism in Cambodia ” engineered by Cambodian Club of Journalists(CCJ), apparently in celebration of the 10th Founding Anniversary of CCJ.

According to Pen Samithy, CCJ president, the forum is the 7th of its kind organized annually to identify and discuss the issue of journalism in the Kingdom.

The 7th forum managed to make a joint communique for all parties concerned, journalists, publishers, national and international non-govenrnental organizations and the government of Cambodia to consider what should be taken to go along side with the new turning point in news media.

The communique stated the new stage of journalism in Cambodia has seen the interrelationship between journalism and existing laws and the ones being drafted or composed, including penal code, broadcasting , access to information..etc. The communique also laid stress on the relationship between traditional and new media, journalists and publishers or broadcasters, journalists and journalists and publishers and publishers.

Print media, including newspapers and magazines which account for over 300 media across the country are competing with one another in a small market of advertising in the country, inhabited by over 14 million people.

Taking fair competition into account, Pen Samithy called for publishers and broadcasters to meet and found certain form of grouping to get together for the good of the news media.

“Readership in print media is dropping to a lower rate”, he said, without giving specific figure on the matter and added “Electronic media viewers or listeners are increasing in quantity although most people prefer entertainment program to news desk”.

Nowadays, internet publication is ever more popular as internet access is more available and pricing is even more affordable across Cambodia. Many local-language newspapers go online for free like,, dap-news,com,, and so on.

The percentage of internet users in the past 10 years increased by 1,200 per cent to some 78,000 people, according to Kim Kierans, who has written “Cambodia-a land of opportunity” in Asia's Media Innovators of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

The Internet World Statistics website shows that between 2000 and 2010 internet use in neighboring Vietnam grew by 12,034.5 per cent to 24.2 million people and growth even in Myanmar outpaced Cambodia with internet use leaping by 10,900 per cent to 110,000 people.

In the context of Cambodia, the difference between new news media and the traditional ones do not root in the fact that contents of the traditional need to be digitized but it is a matter of integration between new and traditional media for readers, viewers and listeners, noted the communique.(ends)

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