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Cambodian Newspaper Project: 1998 - 2003: 2nd RGC

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.

1998 - 2003: 2nd Royal Government of Cambodia



 The Cambodian press was seen as the freest press among countries in the region and most countries in Europe. There was no systematic repression on the press besides a political alignment and some cases of intermediations, threats of suspension and lawsuits. A steady improvement and development had been made since the formation of the second collision government in 1998. It was noted with less violence compared to the time prior the election while the quality was improving with more and more investigative and informative news articles published among those top local papers. Especially, Rasmey Kampuchea was among other international papers, The Cambodia Daily, Cambodge Soire and Phnom Penh Post, were providing a good model to the local papers. Another importance and excitement happened during this period was the opening of a Department of Media and Communication at the Royal University of Phnom Penh to provide a degree training in journalism in 2001. It was the first degree program in journalism ever established in Cambodia.


Despite improvement was made, the Cambodian press still faced a number of issues. For example, the lack of investing capital to secure the successful operation without dependence on the support from patrons and parties. Also, not just the journalism skills were seen to be short, but also the management and marketing skills among the newspaper staff also a key factor that strongly impacted the successful operation of the paper.


 Some Major Events:


  • By 2000

There were over 200 newspapers and magazines registered by the Ministry of Information, but only between 20 to 30 of them were published regularly while a few of them were published weekly.


  • September 2001:

The Department of Media and Communication of the Royal University of Phnom Penh was established to provide a Bachelor degree program in “Media Management”. This initiation took place under a collaborative work and contribution of some major key players include 1) the Royal University of Phnom Penh and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Royal Government of Cambodia; 2) Konrad Adenauer Foundation; 3) Ateneo de Manila University; 4) Ohio University; and 5) The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).  This was the first degree program in journalism education established in Cambodia.


  • By October 2002:

The total number of the national newspapers was 160 - 36 foreign language newspapers, 42 magazines, 19 bulletins and 12 foriegn news agencies.


  • 2002:

The world-wide index of press freedom by Reporters Without Borders ranked Cambodia 71 of 139 countries listed.