In a congratulatory message sent to the “20th Cambodian Journalists and Editors Forum” yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Manet called on media professionals to help disseminate government policies to the people and provide real information about Cambodia to the international community.
The forum is organized by the Club of Cambodian Journalists today under the theme of “Ethics and Professionalism of the Press” and bring media leaders, journalists and editors from various media outlets together to exchange ideas, share experiences and address past challenges with a view to set new directions for future work while promoting professional journalistic ethics.
Mr. Hun Manet said that media is a driving force contributing to maintaining peace and build a sustainable nation by realizing the “Cambodia Vision 2050”.
The Premier noted that journalists have done their best in making the major events like ASEAN Summit, the SEA Games and the Water Festival, among many others, including national and local elections, successful.
Mr. Hun Manet said, “This shows the indispensable partnership between the media and the Royal Government, which has always taken care to promote freedom of expression and promote quality journalism.”
The Prime Minister added the new government has extended the five-year patent tax exemption for small-scale online journalists and media outlets for the period 2023-2028. Also, the license fee for the establishment of new media outlets at the Ministry of Information has been cut by 50% to ease the burden on media agencies and journalists affected by the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and the present global economic environment.
Mr. Hun Manet urged the Forum, especially the senior editors to address the issues like lack of professional media ethics, dissemination of false information and distortion of facts that pollute society, insults and incitements and to isolate opportunists who take refuge under the banner of the press.
The Prime Minister noted that professional ethics is necessary to guarantee information security and the freedom of the press in Cambodia. He added that journalists act as mirrors of social reality and activity.
However, Mr. Hun Manet also observed that the professional ethics of some journalists remains limited, especially the online media outlets.
This issue draws attention to the need for training in professional ethics and skills to improve the capabilities of journalists and boost public confidence, according to the Premier.
“Adhere to professional media ethics, balance all aspects and avoid disseminating information that harms the national interest or loses the public trust,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Hun Manet added that journalists act as mirror of reality and inactivity in society for the government to address issues effectively in line with the reform programmers. For example, the media can help the government in educating the public on traffic accident prevention measures, the dangers of drug use, human trafficking and in promoting initiatives like the “Safe Village-Commune”.
Nop Vy, Executive Director of Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association (CamboJA ), noted that the level of journalistic standards are not consistent. He said, “Some journalists are doing well while others need more training.”
“I hope that the public space for all journalists will become more meaningful and the government will pay more attention to protecting them by responding to the requests of journalists, and to help eliminate any impunity for crimes against journalists.”