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Ministry to monitor TV murder coverage

Children watch an afternoon movie on television in their house in Phnom Penh in 2014.
Children watch an afternoon movie on television in their house in Phnom Penh in 2014. Pha Lina

Ministry to monitor TV murder coverage

The Ministry of Information will establish a media monitor to begin enforcing a decade-old policy about the gratuitous display of graphic deaths, state media reported yesterday.

The announcement came two days after a message – apparently from a government official – called on TV networks not to air images or content relating specifically to murder on the eve of the funeral for slain political analyst Kem Ley.

According to state media wire AKP, Minister of Information Khieu Kannharith encouraged TV, radio and newspapers to disseminate achievements trumpeting the growth of the nation and avoid traffic accidents, murders and other crimes that show insecurity and instability, which could scare off potential tourists and investors. The report said three committees for TV, radio and print would be established to field public complaints.

The head of Cambodian Centre for Independent Media, Pa Ngoun Teang, criticised the minister’s reasoning. “I think it’s not good for freedom of the press . . . the media’s role is not the agenda of the government,” he said. “It’s better to hear both the negative and the positive; both the achievements and the incidents.”

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