Elections

CCIM to release final findings on National Election investigation

                                                                                      

Press Release 

Feb. 26, 2014, Phnom Penh 

 

CCIM to release final findings on National Election investigation

 

The Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) will release its final findings on the 2013 National Elections during an open workshop at 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at the Imperial Garden Villa & Hotel in Phnom Penh.

The findings are the culmination of a one-year project funded by SIDA, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and include information gathered from almost 700 citizens across Cambodia who participated in CCIM community forums.

Also Friday, CCIM will unveil its final investigative reports from a series of pieces on the election. The final reports focus on disputes over the right to vote and are titled: “Borey Keila communities lost their right to vote” and “Vietnamese illegal immigrants as part of Cambodia’s dispute on the 2013 National Elections.” 

The workshop will culminate with direct recommendations to the National Election Committee (NEC) regarding election reforms. These recommendations will be debated during a roundtable discussion featuring representatives from: CNRP, the NEC, the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (COMFREL), and the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC).

The workshop marks the end of CCIM’s SIDA-funded project, “Promoting Investigative and Independent Reporting to Improve the Electoral Process,” during which CCIM organized three conferences and six community forums to promote political debate. As part of the project, CCIM’s production house, the Voice of Democracy, produced six investigative reports and 15 radio broadcasts monitoring the NEC’s activities.

See a detailed agenda attached for more information on Friday’s workshop.

 

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CCIM Partners with SEAPA to organise Town-Hall Meetings and Jounalist Training Sessions on Unbiased Reporting during the 2013 National Assmebly Elections

During July 2013, The Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) and Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) organized a series of town-hall meetings and training sessions in Phnom Penh and Mondulkiri Provinces to cover a number of issues pertaining to freedom of expression and the upcoming national assembly elections in Cambodia.

http://www.ccimcambodia.org/press-release/57-preparing-the-media-in-cambodia-to-monitor-elections

The meetings provided the opportunity for the public to express their views on the situation of freedom of expression in Cambodia, as well as to hear from expert guest speakers who shared their knowledge and experiences. Guest speakers included Ms. Keo Dere, from Committee for Free and Fair Eelection in Cambodia (Comfrel), Mr. Ichal Supriadi from Asian Network for Free and Elections (Anfrel), Mr. Koul Panha (Comfrel), Mr. Wishnu T Hanggore from SEAPA. A total of 110 participants joined the town-hall meetings and journalist trainings, including 35 females.

Mr. Koul Phanha (Comfrel) said:

“It started from the registration process until the election campaign.

What we are seeing in the atmosphere in the pre-election period was deduction violence. Until now, no one has been killed in this pre election period. This is a good development. However, there are still fears and concerns. Some people have been traumatized, which means when the authorities and police start to use strong language, it scares people. It particularly effects the older generation (from 40 years old and up). Some discrimination is happening as well, which also scares people. That’s why the Cambodian People Party’s strength is to make the people see the importance of the security, which is used as a tool in the election. Those who get easily scared, they can be affected to vote in a certain way.”

The Question & Answer sessions at these meetings allowed the public to address guest speakers and the points raised during their presentations, as well as to ask questions about freedom of expression in Cambodia, the voting process and the election. Attendees were also able to express their opinions and experiences regarding reporting on the upcoming election. The issue of safety was raised throughout the Q&A session as a primary concern for journalists and their sources, and advice from Mr. Nop Vy of CCIM was to “go to the NGO of Human Rights Protection to understand what can be done if you are threatened”.

Training sessions focused on similar issues. Trainings  were broken down into three sections for trainee journalist’s learning purposes; i) the challenges for media in Cambodia in covering the elections; ii) ethical and professional reporting standards; and iii) how to practice investigative reporting. The topics were chosen due to the relevance for reporters in covering political and electoral processes and events. Professional journalist trainers from the Department of Media and Communication, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Mr. Moeun Chhean Nariddh and Mr. Chhay Sophal, shared their knowledge about the methods of writing investigative reports on elections as well physical protection during reporting and investigating.

The reporters took this opportunity to voice the challenges they face as journalists, and to voice what changes they would like to see in the future. These challenges included; discrimination against female journalists, a lack of ID cards for reporters, a lack of support from the public and the dangerous nature of the job.

The discussion on challenges in reporting was followed by a presentation on how to report accurately on the upcoming national elections. The presentation outlined guidelines for journalists, the role of a journalist, and ethical obligations for election reporting.

The trainee journalists were then divided into groups to discuss different articles, to work together to find related concerns within the articles, and to discuss how these challenges could be overcome. This session raised issues relating to the sanctity of protecting sources and ensuring that permission is given before using source names, whilst remembering that using ‘anonymous’ as a source reduces the weight of a quote, and is undesirable for journalists if it can be avoided. Trainees were also instructed on the correct way to conduct interviews when reporting, and given advice on how to make sure their articles are accurate.

There were many important lessons shared with the journalists to help them become a voice for the Cambodian people and to ensure that corruption is not a part of reporting. Feedback on the training sessions was positive, with a representative from TV Bayon saying he received new and very useful information on how to report on the election. A representative from Kampuchea Thmey stated that he had gained a lot of valuable knowledge from the training sessions. There was also a request expressed by several journalists, including one from provincial TVK, for additional training sessions in writing techniques, with a suggestion put forward to run additional trainings in the near future.

The national assembly elections took place on Sunday 28th July, 2013. During the elections, 1082 national and international journalists, from 119 difference NGOs and media organizations, registered with the National Election Commission to cover and report on the election.

CCIM and SEAPA found that these sessions were a great success and would like to thank all the guest speakers who attended as well as the journalists who offered their opinions and thoughts on the current media situation in Cambodia. 

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Letter to UN special rapporteur Suya Prased Subedi

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ICT training for 21 citizen journalists on how to cover the national election, professionally, effectively and safely

Well prepared of the citizen journalists to cover the election on 28th of July and the campaign that starting from 27th June to 26th July, were indicated as the main goal of the training on basic reporting on election. To ensure this will be done correctly, part of the training focused on what the journalists wanted to cover and different methods they could use. To provide the best possible outcome, CCIM gave each journalist with a smartphone and taught them how to use different apps to cover and report on election and other news more efficiently.

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