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Ministry plans meeting with media

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Information minister Khieu Kanharith said the ministry wants to receive media inputs before referring them to the prime minister. Information Ministry

Ministry plans meeting with media

The Ministry of Information said it planned to hold a meeting with journalists from print, radio, television and other media sectors to receive their input and suggestions before referring them to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Minister Khieu Kanharith said such a gathering is aimed at addressing their concerns.

“In the past, [as an example], the information ministry had never received complaints from female reporters over harassment while on the job. But if there is such a case, she can file a complaint with the ministry,” he said.

Cambodian Journalists Alliance (CamboJa) executive director Nop Vy welcomed the move. He said his association is prepared to join the forum and will accept the opinions of member journalists before submitting them to the ministry.

“I am personally happy to join the discussion. CamboJa is also happy to cooperate if the ministry needs counselling on policies and laws,” he said.

Vy said independent journalist bodies and reporters still face difficulties communicating with government institutions. If the ministry shares the feedback with those institutions, he said it will help journalists a lot.

Union of Journalist Federations of Cambodia (UJFC) president Huy Vannak told The Post he supported a meeting between journalists and the ministry.

“Access to information is more open than before but we see a greater need to keep reporters safe when they try to carry out their work. We have also seen some newspapers have closed and that leaves reporters with no jobs,” he said.

Vannak said professional ethics and integrity are also main points. He explained that some reporters do not act as reporters, but land dispute solvers, timber interceptors or pointing out gambling rings.

“These are things we have to solve to retain the value of reporters as information gatherers and storytellers. There are a lot of things to improve regarding the professional ethics of reporters in our country,” he said.

Hun Sen meets correspondents and journalists, regardless of their political affiliation, every year in January. The first such forum started in 2017.

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