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Cambodian Newspaper Project: A - B

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.

Angkor Borei News* / Qaṅgar Pūrī / អង្គរបូរី

Angkor Borei News was published irregularly in black and white in four page length. No confirmed source explained about its circulating volume during the early issues. Angkor Borei News is not listed on the homepage of the Ministry of Information (2012). Generally, all newspapers are required by law to have it registered by the Ministry of Information. Being not listed could mean that the paper is no longer in operation. However and interestingly, the Library of Congress record shows that Angkor Borei News is currently published in Fullerton, Orange, CA, USA. It also explains that the description of the record was created based on issue number 53 published in September 30, 1988 and latest issue consulted was vol. 21 no.674, published on December 31, 2006. This information is contradicted to the descriptive information of those issues being held by Yale which shows September 19-20, 195 was the time when its vol. 2 (year 2nd) no. 29 was published. At this point, there is no confirmed source explain if these two publications are the same or different.

 

Not much different from other typical Khmer language newspapers, Angkor Borei News covered mainly the local political news. No education or Khmer literary section included. According those issues held by Yale shows that most of its articles, editorials and cartoons irregularly appeared were highly critical of the opposition voice includes those newspapers aligned with the opposition party as well as the politicians of the party. In contrast, the papers highly praised the King and Samdech Hun Sen, then the second prime minister.

Angkor Thmei News / Sārbartamān Qaṅgar Thmī / សារពត៌មានអង្គរថ្មី

The paper was first published in December 1995. There was no information found about its frequency, but according to those issues published during the first two months of the paper shows that the paper was published twice a month. However, that could not be confirmed. It is also important to add that the paper was not listed on the current list posted on the Ministry of Information homepage (www.information.gov.kh, 2012). This certainly indicates that the paper is no longer in operations. However, when exactly the paper ceased its publication is unknown. It is important also to point out that legally all papers in Cambodia must have registered and obtained license from the Ministry of Information before they can start publishing.

 

No difference from other local papers at all, according to those early issues held by Yale University Library, Angkor Thmei News provided coverage primarily for the local news that mainly relates to social and political issues. No international news was reported. The paper also provided a novel fiction that occupied almost a full page length and a few poems on the opposite page.

 

There was no evidence on the political stand of the paper found while conducting the research. What was noted from those early issues was that the paper was highly critical of the opposition party, Khmer Nation Party, which headed by Sam Rainsy. Later in 1995, the party was splited up into two. A group headed by Sam Rainsy named a new party after his name and is now the strongest and largest opposition voice in the country.

Angkor Thom / Qaṅgar Dham / អង្គរធំ

The same as other local Khmer language newspapers; Angkor Thom provided coverage for only local news that was heavily on the social and political issues. It also provides readers a section with two novel fictions and poem. Of the two fictions, one was a translation of western fiction. Social news often covered but not limited to robbery, harassment, rape, traffic accidents and so on. The political news normally both praised and reported on the activities of the senior party members in the collision government and also attacked the political opponents either out or in the government.

 

Angkor Thom was known as a pro-FUNCINPEC party paper. The paper closed down following the 2003 election.  It is important to point out that, typically the local Khmer language newspapers are financed or based on the party-financial support. Without this financial support the paper is hard to survive as the advertising revenue is next to none.

Aroun News (the) / Sārbartamān Qaruṇ / សារព័ត៌មានអរុណ

 

The paper began in late December 1995 and was sold at 500 Riel per copy. It is important to point out that the paper was not listed in the current local media organization list posted on the Ministry of Information homepage (www.information.gov.kh, 2012). This certainly indicates that the paper is no longer in operation. However, there is no evidence proving when exactly the paper ceased. Legally, all papers needs to obtain license from the Ministry of Information before it can start publishing.

 

According to those issues held by Yale University Library the paper provided coverage for local news that was full of opinion piece of articles and commentary on political related topics that were critical of the senior government officials and the opposition. It also provided a section on the Cambodian history. Interestingly, no Khmer fiction was provided to readers, but a poem section was there.

 

There is also no clear or confirmed evidence on its political stand, but according to those issues held by Yale University Library, the paper highly praised King Norodom Sihanouk and the Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party (BLDP), but strongly critical to the government and an opposition party, Khmer Nation Party, founded by Sam Rainsy.

Business News (The) / Pāyăn Bāṇijj / បាយ័នពាណិជ្ជ

This paper was published in two editions – Khmer and English. The Khmer edition was published under the title of បាយ័នពាណិជ្ជ (Pāyăn Bāṇijj) while the English one was The Business News. Both editions were first published back to back but later were separated.

 

The coverage of the paper is primarily for Cambodian and Asian business with some local politics. The paper also provides an overview of local Phnom Penh market prices for food and construction materials, as well as the dollar exchange rate.