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Empowering citizen journalists in Cambodia


The Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) - an independent media voice in Cambodia established in 2007 as a non-partisan NGO, – is training citizen journalists from rural Cambodian communities on topics such as investigative journalism and human rights. The project is supported by UNESO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) and aims at establishing a sustainable mechanism for the production and dissemination of community focused radio broadcasts, facilitating self-expression and improving information-sharing in rural communities.

For this purpose, 60 citizen journalists from the three rural communities of Preah Vihear, Mondulkiri and Ratanakir, are being trained in reporting, writing, editing, investigative journalism and human rights. They will edit, at a later stage, broadcasting news reports via Sarika FM and other radio stations as well. CCIM will also organise with the trainees’ assistance, a bridge forum facilitating dialogue and promoting the networking between the Cambodian media and the citizen journalists in the CCIM’s radio location.

Cambodia is still suffering from the effects of the Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s and the following years of civil strife. “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”, Sokunthea explains.

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.

By Karolin Susanne Rist, UNESCO Bangkok