Challenges for Independent Media Reports

Challenges for Independent Media Report 2016


Although there were no physical attacks or lawsuits against journalists in 2016, media outlets operated in an environment that often placed intense pressure to report favorably on the government and their allies in the business community. Rising political tension ahead of commune elections in June 2017 and an accompanying wave of legal action against government critics had a chilling effect on journalists, even those working for outlets that perceive themselves as independent and free to report on a broad spectrum of sensitive issues.

Corruption was seen as one of the most difficult topics to report on, followed by border issues and land concessions. Interference and repercussions were most likely to come from publishers or owners, followed by authorities and politicians, according to journalists and experts surveyed, all of whom said they were willing to engage in or report on freedom of the press.


Challenges for Independent Media Report 2015


The year 2015 saw a slight reprieve in the violence against journalists that marred the previous year, when two journalists were murdered in the line of work, but simultaneously saw an uptick in the prosecutions of netizens for speaking their mind on the Internet, and Facebook in particular. Among those prosecuted for engaging in online free expression in 2015 were opposition lawmakers, students and a migrant worker.

Though journalists have so far avoided lawsuits related to reports posted online, the prosecutions of citizens have had a chilling effect, with 58% of those surveyed in CCIM’s Annual Attitudes Survey of Professional Journalists saying they did not feel completely free to report on all subjects without fear of interference or repercussions — a more than 10% increase over the year before. Strikingly, almost a third of journalists who did not always feel free to report said they felt that way due to pressure from their own editors, producers, publishers or news outlet owners, and the majority of journalists (53%) said their news outlet was not completely independent, or free from influences by political or business interests.


Challenges for Independent Media Report 2014


2014 was a notable year for journalism in Cambodia, with    no shortage of news to cover,     starting    with the labor and political protests in  the  first  months of  the  year  and culminating in the historic negotiations in July that ended a year-long political gridlock. But in the midst of these historic events, Cambodian journalists increasingly found themselves in the news, as reporters faced injury and even death for covering the news. 2014 proved the deadliest year for Cambodian journalists since the political turmoil of 1997, with two Cambodian journalists confirmed murdered in relation to their work and a third, foreign journalist found dead under suspicious circumstances.

Nonetheless, a survey of professional journalists conducted by the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) in November and December found that the majority of journalists feel the country’s media sector is headed in the right direction. Many respondents attributed this     feeling to the rise of the Internet, and particularly social media and smartphones, in facilitating real-time access to news and     spurring online debate and discussion over current events.


Challenges for Independent Media Development in Cambodia Report 2013

Created in 2007, the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) is an independent organization committed to using media production and capacity building as tools for promoting social justice and change. Its goal is to promote democratic governance by creating a pluralistic and independent media environment in Cambodia. Its primary medium for doing this is VOD radio, which is broadcast through the radio station Sarika FM in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and online through CCIM also publishes news content, research and reports online through its website.

The political environment in Cambodia has played, and continues to play a central role in shaping the country's media landscape. Although technically (according to the Constitution and political framework that was created after the Paris Peace Agreements of 1991) Cambodia is a liberal parliamentary democracy, the party which has ruled for much of the time since - the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) - has established and maintained an authoritarian rule.