The International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia and the Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ) held a workshop with the Ministry of Information on December 28-29 on the role of the media as part of the electoral process with an eye towards next year’s national election as it draws nearer and media coverage of the topic gradually intensifies.

The information ministry said that the workshop aimed to promote journalists’ understanding about the relevant laws, election procedures and processes as well as the journalists’ role and appropriate ethical standards for journalists doing election reporting, with the goal of empowering the journalists who attended with the necessary skills and knowledge to engage in informed and accurate analysis of election related issues.

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith, who presided over the workshop, said that a democratic society can move forward only with the participation of civil society and especially the media and professional journalists who are knowledgeable and can provide information to voters that is factual and verified.

He said that this is one of the vital functions that the media serves because it’s impossible for voters to make good decisions unless they can make informed decisions.

CCJ president Puy Kea said at the workshop that the media and journalists must plan their election coverage carefully and only report vetted information to prevent themselves from spreading gossip or fake news unwittingly.

He said that professional journalists can make valuable contributions to the improvement of society by acting as a filter that prevents the spread of biased news that could cause chaos during the election.

The workshop was attended by 54 participants from 26 Cambodian media entities, along with nine speakers and focal trainers who are veteran journalists, legal and political science experts from the Kingdom as well as from France, Germany, and Australia.