US ambassador to Cambodia W Patrick Murphy October 2 met for talks with Minister of Information Neth Pheaktra, with both sides committing to strengthen cooperation in the information sector in the interests of both nations.

The meeting, held at the ministry headquarters in Phnom Penh, centred on information cooperation between Cambodia and the US, according to the National Television Cambodia (TVK).

Murphy congratulated Pheaktra on his appointment as information minister under the seventh-mandate government, it said, citing the minister as saying that his stance moving forward would be one of strengthening information cooperation with the US to ensure it remained smooth.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said cooperation in the information sector is key, as in all mature democracies, the media is regarded as the “fourth power”.

“In Cambodia, media is really important to deliver immediate information to the people, especially in this digital era. Although the livelihoods of many people may not be high, they receive information very quickly through their smartphones,” he explained.

He added that to make sure information cooperation is fruitful, especially regarding Cambodia-US relations, it is necessary for both sides to focus on the positive aspects and maintaining excellent cooperation. They should remember that they are important trading partners, with the US one of Cambodia’s major export markets.

As of press time, no information was available from the US embassy in Phnom Penh.

Pheaktra told The Post in September that his ministry – which currently operates radio stations, television channels, magazines and its own news agencies – is aiming to strengthen public information networks, transforming them into a national platform with significant influence.

He noted that the ministry is also promoting digital distribution via social media platforms, in addition to its websites, Telegram groups and other online broadcasting caabilities.