Empowering citizen journalists in Cambodia
In a country still recovering from the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge regime and subsequent civil strife, citizen journalists in rural Cambodia are now being trained on topics such as investigative journalism and human rights.
The trainings are led by the non-governmental organization Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM), with support from UNESO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). They aim to establish a sustainable mechanism for the production and dissemination of community-focused radio broadcasts, bolstering media pluralism and facilitating freedom of expression for marginalized and ethnic communities to advocate for their rights.
As part of this project, 60 citizen journalists from rural communities in the provinces of Preah Vihear, Mondulkiri and Ratanakir are being trained in reporting, writing, editing, investigative journalism and human rights. At a later stage, participants will edit news reports to be broadcast on Sarika FM and other radio stations.
CCIM will facilitate continued networking and dialogue between Cambodian media and citizen journalists through the creation of Community Information Centres and a one-day “bridge forum”.
“Problems facing independent media in Cambodia are complex and interlinked,” says Ms Kong Keo Sokunthea, media business manager of CCIM. “There is still a prevalence of a voiceless and fragmented civil society, unable or unwilling to speak up about basic rights.”
The IPDC is the only multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss and promote media development in developing countries. The Programme not only provides support for media projects but also seeks an accord to secure a healthy environment for the growth of free and pluralistic media in developing countries.