Internship at CCIM: Develop Skills, Build Self-Confidence and Experience the Real World


There is nothing more exciting for journalism students than having the chance to engage directly with a media institution to practice the skills they rigorously learnt at university. It is no different for Heang Sokuntheary, a sophomore from the Department of Media and Communication, Royal University of Phnom Penh. Having been motivated by the curiosity to learn new things along with a passion for advocacy, Sokuntheary is working as a Media Intern at the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) for eight weeks. Now half way through her internship, the time she has spent at CCIM has been both challenging and fun and very different to anything she has experienced at university.


As student of journalism, Sokuntheary is particularly interested in advocacy. “I fully understand and believe that a good journalist has to be in a neutral position between the government and the people,” Sokunthery said adding, “maintaining neutrality, however, does not necessarily have to leave any group of voiceless or marginalized people behind.” This smart and energetic second year student is convinced that independent media is one of the important pillars of democracy and that social justice and equal opportunities assure democracy prevails. A fair solution exists only when people are equal and can speak up and participate.

More importantly, in addition to learning the technical skills of journalism, Sokuntheary has enjoyed the challenges associated with interviewing sources for information and has steadily built her self-confidence. “I have become more confident when I interview people. I understand it is extremely important to build a good relationship with interviewees before I actually start asking them questions. Now I know I am brave enough to work as a journalist,” Sokuntheary said with confidence.  


An eight-week internship is rather short. However, Sokuntheary is committed to spending her time at CCIM effectively. “The staff at CCIM are friendly and helpful. They pay attention to me and tirelessly answer every question I have. At CCIM, I am learning not only journalism skills, but also how to develop patience, tolerance and mutual understanding which is useful for my future career advancement.” Although she is just a second year student, Sokuntheary is very motivated by what she has learnt at CCIM. She strongly encourages the students of media and communication to apply for internships so that they too can obtain knowledge and real experience in journalism.  (Sek Sophal)