- Published on Wednesday, 01 January 2014 14:01
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Developing independent media in Cambodia is a challenging and risky task. The political environment is not conducive to such activities. In fact, the executive power controls all democratic mechanisms, including key institutions as the National Assembly and the justice system. Human rights groups described 2012 as the worst year ever for journalists and media practitioners. On July the 15th, 2012, Mr Man Sonando, owner and Director of Beehive Radio considered as “one of Cambodia’s few independent news outlets”, was arrested for the third time and imprisoned for eight months. Two month later on September the 11th, 2012 Mr. Heng Serei Udom, journalist for the Virakchun Khmer Daily newspaper, was murdered while reporting on illegal logging in Ratanakiri province. Cambodia’s press freedom ranking dropped for the sixth consecutive year, sliding five places to 149th in Reporters Without Borders’ 2013 World Press Freedom Index. Freedom House rated Cambodia as “Not free” in its Global Freedom of the Press report.
At this critical stage in the development of democracy in Cambodia, the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) is committed to promoting democratic governance and promoting human rights in Cambodia through the development of a pluralistic and independent media environment. To realize its vision of “Everybody Well Informed, Everybody Empowered”, CCIM continues to design and implement various projects to protect freedom of expression and serves as an alternate source of news through which people have access to independent, accurate and unbiased information. Human rights activists also use CCIM’s multimedia platform to advocate for more social justice and maximize the impact of their recommendations. CCIM’s radio stations and news website have became recognized channels to challenge threats on media independency and constitutes a model for other local media organisations.
Since CCIM began operating, it has been a constant challenge to confront political threats whilst maintaining objectivity in the news provided to Cambodian citizens. Senior management, staff and journalists have faced arrest, detention, harassment and censorship.
CCIM will continue to endure this adversity and remain independent, retaining its unshakeable commitment to the key principles needed for democratic development in Cambodia. By taking pro-active action and defying all forms of pressure, CCIM will keep expanding the space for open debate. The journey to an effective healthy Cambodian democracy is a long one and there is still much to do to get there. We cannot succeed without the commitment of our staff, donors and partners, all of whom have provided strong support and cooperation over many years. With your continued encouragement, a fully independent and pluralistic media environment will finally be established in Cambodia.
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