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Radio citizen journalists to promote freedom of expression in Cambodia

UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) and the Cambodia Center for Independent Media (CCIM) are implementing a project to promote and strengthen freedom of expression in the country.

The project, which took place in three rural target communities of Preah Vihear, Mondulkiri and Ratankiri was first launched in November. Since then, 60 community members, including human rights and youth activists, have been trained on citizen journalism and how to write stories, reports and on how to use new media tools such a social media and email box. The three-day workshop, which was successfully conducted on November 22nd, 24th and 26th, also encouraged participants to express their thoughts and report on human rights within the Cambodian media context. Newly trained citizen journalists will now form and operate a Community Information Committee to produce radio news. The aim is to produce five news reports per month to broadcast through community radio stations.

The project aimed at supporting marginalized and ethnic communities to express their views and promoting community participation.

Most of the participants were under the assumption that they clearly understood freedom of expression, but they released that they only had limited notion of the idea and expressed their interest in learning more about this topic. However, some participants said although they would like to commit to writing the news report, they are concerned about they security. The fear has played a major role in causing decrease in the number of participants.

Participants think media is one of the most powerful way to communicate because “it helps to solve community problems” and to “promote freedom of expression”. They were very active and collaborative with the trainers and facilitators of the workshop. Most of them, like Miss. Rath Rachana and Mr. Phan Sokhet, for instance, promised to write and send news reports to media in order to improve their situation.

Almost all of the community members are interested in learning how to be a citizen journalist

Promoting freedom of expression requires for media pluralism.  Building the media capacities of local communities in Cambodia was one step for empowering them to advocate for their right to freedom of expression and opening new spaces where to make their voices heard.

The Cambodia Center for Independent Media produces radio materials such as Voice of Democracy broadcast via Radio Sarika to 8,480,000 people.

The CCIM will continue to assist citizen journalists to produce news materials for broadcast on Sarika FM 106.5, FM 95.5 and through the network of community radio stations participating for this project.


By Lucia Perez Sanagustin