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Cambodian Newspaper Project: 1979 - 1991: PRK & SOC

A collection of Cambodian newspapers in the 1990s, a transition period when Cambodia emerged from a communist to a liberal democratic state. A historical collection that can tell so many stories Cambodia experienced during this transition period.

1979 - 1991: People’s Republic of Kampuchea (PRK) & State of Cambodia (SOC), led by Heng Samrin & Hun Sen



The Vietnamese-backed Kampuchea National Liberation Front (KNLF) declared its victory on 7 January 1979 after overthrowing and pushing the Khmer Rouge out of the country.  Quickly, the Hanoi-backed government was formed and led Cambodia into the communist bloc.


There was hardly any change in the press comparing to the previous regime. The foriegn journalists were banned from entering the country by the government from 1980 to 1986. Only the state and the party-owned media existed and undeniably they were used as a tool to disseminate the government information and the party propagandas. Sarapordarmean Kampuchea (SPK) was the official government news agency established by KNLF. SPK was installed right away under the Ministry of Information to produce daily bulletin in Khmer, English and Vietnamese.  In addition, there were four other written presses owned and controlled by the party. Interesting point made by an editor of one of the paper was that those papers, to certain extent, could criticize the state on behalf the party, they were also could be pressured by the state through the party line.  The papers were freely distributed among the communist cadre through the state and party channels.


Some Major Events:


  • December 1978:

The Kampuchean National Liberation Front (KNLF) was formed.


  • 25 January 1979:

Kampuchea (Cambodia) was established and was a weekly paper edited by Khieu Kanharith who is who is currently a Minister of the Ministry of Information.


  • December 1979-1989:

Kong Toap Padevath (Revolutionary Army)


  • February 1981-1993:

 Phnom Penh was established. The paper was edited by Pen Samithy who is now the current editor for Rasmei Kampuchea.


  • October 1985:

Pracheachun (the People),  

  • 1979 – present:

Sarapordamean Kampuchea (SPK) was established by KNLF to circulate the party and government related news in three langauges - Khmer, English and Vietnamese. This official news agency was administered by the Ministry of Information and it was positon as Agence Khmer de Presse (AKP) in the 1960s. After the election in 1993, this news agency's name was changed back to its original name AKP and later and till now it has been changed to Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP).