Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - For Cambodian youths, TV still king: new study

For Cambodian youths, TV still king: new study

Children watch television in Phnom Penh’s White Building in earlier this year.
Children watch television in Phnom Penh’s White Building in earlier this year. Pha Lina

For Cambodian youths, TV still king: new study

Bucking the widespread perception that the youth of today only have eyes for Facebook, a new study has found that TV is still king for adolescent Cambodians.

The study, commissioned by child rights group UNICEF and carried out by Indochina Research, was released over the weekend and shows two-thirds of young people aged 10 to 19 watch television daily.

The report also found that 8 percent of more than 800 children surveyed were “media dark”, that is, they had not consumed any television, radio or internet media in the past month. Of those who were “media dark”, the majority – six out of 10 – were girls, and most were from rural areas in Ratanakkiri, Kratie and Preah Sihanouk, though the results did not examine the reason for the gender gap.

Nicole Dulieu, Indochina Research project manager and one of the report’s authors, said phone ownership was growing among young people – four in 10 owned a mobile phone, and two in 10 said they had a smart phone. “If you have less access to information, whatever you consume will be more important to you,” she said.

The lack of information for children in “at-risk groups” – including youth living in poverty, trafficked children, or those with HIV or drug addiction – means they “don’t always have the ability to differentiate between what is real and what is not when consuming information; they don’t necessarily know how to verify it”, she added.

She added that parents still had a major say in the lives of adolescents and, worryingly, 21 percent said they wouldn’t speak to anyone if they had issues with their family or friends. UNICEF spokesperson Iman Morooka said the qualitative interviews in the report with vulnerable youth highlighted their key concerns.

“Many of them indicated that they feel stigmatised and isolated, with education attainment being below the expected level . . . Fear for their safety and loss of trust are some of the concerns that were raised by adolescents who have experienced trafficking and those exposed to drug use,” she said.

The report also found many young people were highly concerned about traffic accidents and crime – “hot news” topics often favoured by news outlets.

Moeun Chhean Nariddh, director of the Cambodian Institute for Media Studies, said in his experience, youth watched TV for entertainment and went to social media for information.

He added that the media should think twice before “over reporting” violent crime or displaying gory graphics in prime time or on social media to impressionable audiences.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused

  • PM sets tourism reopening as centrepiece of ATF 2022

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged ASEAN to reopen tourism and trade now that many of the bloc’s member countries have vaccinated their populations. Speaking at the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 (ATF 2022) in Preah Sihanouk province on January 18, the premier also said ASEAN has a