Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

COVID-19 UPDATE

Yale libraries will be closed Nov. 25 – Jan. 5. Online services and access to library materials will continue. See COVID-19 library updates.

Cambodian Newspaper Project: C - D

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.

Cambodge Soir / Khempūjsăr / ខេមបូជស័រ

It was first published in 1995 as tri-weekly paper and later in 1997 became a daily. A Khmer edition of the paper was also printed weekly and sold separately. In June, 2007 the paper was shut down by declaring bankruptcy by its own management following a dispute with the staff over an article about a controversial report that was highly critical of the government. The report was originally produced by a London-based organization – Global Witness. The news editor, Soren Seelow, was fired following the published article and this upset both the French and Khmer editorials to walk out on strike in protest. However, in October 2007, a few months after its closure, the paper relaunched its first issue as a tri-weekly again, but with online daily publication.  Nonetheless, several former Khmer and French did not rejoin the paper, but to form as group creating a French and Khmer News online - www.ka-set.info. The online daily publication of Cambodge Soir Hebdo can be access atwww.cambodgesoir.info.

 

It is also important to point out that Robert Latil was a former publisher while its editor-in-chief was Pierre Gillette.

 

Cambodge Soir is viewed as a general, neutral and independent paper. The main purpose of the paper is to provide comprehensive news and analysis reports on political, economic, social and cultural events in Cambodia. The targeted readership of the paper is primarily the French speaking Cambodian population including students, civil servants and politicians.

Cambodia Daily (The) / Dẏ Ghaempūḍā Ṭaelī / ឌឹឃែមបូឌាដែលី

The Cambodia Daily is one of the three international newspapers established during the UNTAC era in Cambodia and is one of the two international papers that are still in operation. The paper is printed six days a week with a combined issue for weekend and a current circulation is 8,000 copies. The paper is mainly in black and white but the weekend and a supplement inserts are in full-color. It is printed in English with Khmer edition inserted for selective articles with a maximum of four pages. The early issues were also in Japanese. The paper began with an average 12 pages and currently is 32 pages lengths. The supplement often comes out on a special occasion of celebration such as a birthday of day of the retired King Norodom Sihanouk or high profile anniversary including a diplomatic relation or anniversary of a certain party or it is just attributed to specific Cambodian related topics such as tourism, education and so on. The paper provides both local and international news. The international news is provided free of charge from major wire services and us newspapers. The paper is available as a daily printed in Cambodia and a weekly edition for overseas readers with an annual subscription fee of US$250. Selective online publication of the paper can be accessed at http://www.camnet.com.kh/cambodia.daily/

 

The readership of the paper is split in half between foreigners and Cambodians. The international news is emphasized and intended to compensate the lack of coverage among the local papers.

 

The daily is widely considered and recognized as an independent and is not-for-profit organization. Most importantly, the paper aims to establish a foundation for a free press in Cambodia and also to train its journalists. Another important to point out is that The Cambodia Daily is one among others international newspapers that provide a role model to the local newspapers.

 

According to a study by Edmen in 2000, the paper is operated with around 60 staff including a dozen foreign journalists and 22-24 Cambodian run the other editorial side of the operation. The paper spent totally between US$20,000 to US$25,000 per month. About $5,000 of this was contributed by Krisher’s pocket month. The newspaper income is mainly generated from advertisements. The study also identifies that the Cambodian journalists make between US$180 to US$500 per month, depending on their seniority with the paper, while foreign journalists make US$10,000 the first year and US$1,200 during their second year and thereafter the salary was negotiable.

 

Bernard Krisher was a former Newsweek correspondent and was co-author for a couple books with King Norodom Sihanouk. However, it is important to point out that in 1965 when he was a Newsweek correspondent, Krisher was accused by Prince Norodom Sihanouk of insulting the Queen and all Western papers were banned. Perhaps it is also worthwhile to point out that the Ministry of Information actually listed Garton William Biggs as a publisher of the paper on its current updated page (2012).

 

Even though the international papers have enjoyed much freedom of free press compared to the local ones, The Cambodia Daily certainly has been through some biter experiences. For instance, in late 1995, the legality of the paper operation in Cambodia was questioned by Prime Minister Hun Sen as he found the manner of the paper was not agreeable after this paper reported his critical speech of USA and France interfering the Cambodian internal affairs. However, he did not demand the paper to be closed down. Nonetheless, the Cambodian People Party’s printing press refused to print The Cambodia Daily as a protest.

 

On 15 September 2009, the paper received a phone call from a lawyer of the wife of the Minster of Ministry Industry, Mine and Energy demanding a correction from paper as well as removing the name of the Minister from the report. This happened after this paper reported a story about a land dispute between the company owned by the Minister’s wife and the local people in Kampong Chhnang province. It was warned that the complaint would be filed to court on disinformation if the paper refused to run a correction. Another case happened within same month and year was when the editor-in-chief of the paper, Kevin Doyle, and a Khmer journalist of the paper, Neou Vannarin, was charged with libel and sentenced on Sept. 22nd by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court with fine four millions reils (US$1,000) each for spreading disinformation. The sentence was made over a report by The Cambodia Daily about the case of Sam Rainsy lawmaker, Ho Vann, who was charged with libel of questioning the academic qualifications of 22 senior military officials and two of them are close to the Prime Minister Hun Sen. The court decided to drop Ho Vann’s case.

Cambodia Times (The) / Kāmpūdīy˝ā Thaems˚ / កាំបូឌីយ៉ាថែមស៍

The Cambodia Times was one of the first two English language newspapers established in Cambodia. To be more accurate, it was the second English language paper established 10 days after Phnom Penh Post. Both papers were owned by Foreigners. The paper was first published weekly in English and began the Khmer version in November 1992. According to a survey conducted in 1995 by Judith Clarke from Journalism Department of Hong Kong Baptist College, the paper ran a circulation of 8,214 copies.

 

It is interesting to point out that the owner and the editor of the paper had no experience and background in journalism and the paper employed local journalists with basic journalism skills to report information around Phnom Penh (Mehta, 1997). He also pointed out that the paper editor and printer were based in Kuala Lumpur while the advertisements had to be booked either in Singapore or Hong Kong. After printing, the paper was sent by air to Cambodia.

 

The paper provided coverage for both local and international news on quite a wide range of topics from social, political to business and economic issues. According to Mehta (1997) the paper got funding from Kuwait to run the paper serving as its public relation agency to speak out against the invasion of Saddam Hussein. The paper was sold to a Malaysian company in 1996 and was closed down later due to bankruptcy.

 

Although the paper claimed to be independent, it could not get away from its bias reports. Mehta (1997) explains that the paper first supported the States of Cambodia while the Phnom Penh Post was soft toward the royalist. However, the Times s shifted its position to support the royalist after the general election in 1993 when FUNCIPEC won the election.

Cambodia Today / Kambujā Thṅai Neḥ / កម្ពុជាថ្ងៃនេះ

Cambodia Today began in 1995. It was published three issues per week. It claimed to begin printing daily in June 1995, but based on the available issues in hand the claim did not seem true at all. No further information and update about the paper could be traced during the course of this research. The current list by the Ministry of Information posted on its website (February, 2012) also does not provide any information about the paper. This certainly indicates that the paper is no longer in operation, but the exact date is unknown.

 

According to the available issues, the paper provided coverage for both national and international news. However and not surprisingly, the national news was seen as the main focus of the paper that covered broadly ranging of topics included business, economic, social and political issues.

 

There was no source confirming the political stand or affiliation of the paper found during the course of this research. Presumably, the paper was a neutral one.

Cambodian Press / Sārbartamān Yoeṅ / សារព័ត៌មានយើង

Cambodian Press was not a local based Khmer language newspaper, but it was a student paper published in Lowell, MA, USA. No information on its founding date and also its circulation volume was found during this research. Yale University Library holds only one issue of the paper (Vol. 6, no. 79) that was published on August 15, 1993. According this issue, we could guess that the paper could have been published since the late 1980s. However, this cannot be confirmed.

 

Without sufficient information, it is difficult to understand and explain the coverage of this paper. However, based on the available issue the paper seemed to have a strong voice against Vietnam. It was also critical of the Indochinese strategies and Hanoi government. The paper also raised about the consequences and sufferings experienced by the Cambodians during the war.

 

There was no source confirming on the political stand of the paper. It is also impossible to make any assumption with a single issue in hand.

Chhanteak Khmer News / Sārbartamān Chandá Khmaer / សារព័ត៌មានឆន្ទៈខ្មែរ

Chhanteak Khmer News was first published in January 1996. Yale University Library holds some of those earliest issues. Not much information about the early period of the paper found during the research, but the current list by the Ministry of Information posted on its website (February, 2012) shows that the paper is currently being published two issues per week with a circulation of 1,000 copies. The list also shows that Long Lim is the current publisher of the paper.

 

The paper itself claimed that, according to those early issues, it serves and backs the political policy of Khmer Nation Party. It was an opposition party established by H.E. Sam Rainsy after he was ousted from FUNCIPEC and a post of Minister of Finance. Later, the Khmer Nation Party was split into two. A group headed by Nguon Sour disappeared later while a group headed by Sam Rainsy formed a new party named after Sam Rainsy himself, Sam Rainsy Party, which is now the largest opposition in Cambodia. According to those available issues, the paper provided coverage for local news only and was heavily flooded with opinion pieces on the local political issues. The paper also strongly attacked and criticized the government, senior government officials and especially Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Samdech Hun Sen. It was also noticed that the paper was highly critical of Vietnamese and the Vietnamese government. However, there was no source confirming on the current political stand or affiliation of the paper found during the course of this research. However, because of the lack o f current issues of the paper and also conforming source, it is unclear about the current political stand and affiliation of the paper.

Civilzation (The)* / Qariyadharm / អរិយធម៌

The Civilization was one of the papers published in the 1960s, but was absent during the sequent regimes. In 1994, this paper began its publications again. According to a survey conducted in 1995 by Judith Clarke from Journalism Department of Hong Kong Baptist College, the paper published twice-weekly with a circulation 1,429 copies. In 2003 a survey conducted by a group of students from the National Institute of Management as published by Jarvis and Arfanis (2004) shows that the paper continued publishing twice-weekly but with an increased circulation of 2,500 copies. No further information about the paper was found during the course of this research. The current list by the Ministry of Information posted on its website (February, 2012) also does not provide any information about the paper. Therefore it is believed that the paper is no longer in operation, but the exact date is unknown. It is important to mention that legally the papers in Cambodia must obtain a license from and registered with the Ministry of Information before starting publishing.

 

It might also be worthwhile mentioning that according to those available issues in hands, the paper itself listed Snguon Pimol as a publisher and Chi Mannin as an editor-in-chief of the paper. However, it had been widely known among Khmer journalists that Prom Say was behind the paper and Jarvis and Arfanis (2004) also confirmed this.

 

The same as other local Khmer language newspapers, The Civilization provided coverage for only the national news that was primarily reported on the social and political issues. The significant social issues reported were crimes and violence while the political issues covered mainly the activities of the senior government officials and especially the two Prime Ministers – Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Samdech Hun Sen. The paper also ran political reports criticizing/attacking some senior government official and prominent politicians and especially those were not CPP members. In addition to its analysis and commentary, the paper also ran its irregular cartoons to serve its editorial line. Additionally and the same as other local papers, The Civilization also provided its readers a literary section with a novel fiction.

 

There was no source confirming the political affiliation of the paper found during the course of this research, but according to the paper itself it seemed that the paper had played a hardball against those non-CPP members including the FUNCIPEC and the opposition voice.

Current News/ Hot News* / Ṭaṃṇẏṅ Thmī / ដំណឹងថ្មី

Damnoeung Thmei is published weekly in black and white with pages length. According the survey by Clarke (1995) its circulation was 286, but the list posted on homepage of the Ministry of Information (2011) showed that the paper was printed twice a week with it circulation of 3,000 copies.

 

Very much like other typical local newspapers, Damnoeung Thmei largely is filled by opinion-based- articles and Khmer literary. News articles focuses on local news only. The literary section often provides readers a fiction. The editorial often comments on the local social and political issues and sometimes these issues are expressed through its cartoon that appears irregularly.

 

No source confirms on the political affiliation of this paper. However, the contents of the paper itself weights heavily on the Cambodian People Party (CPP). It is also important to note that the publisher and editor-in-chief of the paper, Mr Keo Phum, who died of high blood pressure in late 1995, as reported by Koh Santepheap Daily (Oct 6, 1995), had served as an official of the Tramkok District Office of Propaganda and Information, Takeo Province between 1979 and 1994 and was promoted to Head of Statistics Office in 1994. During the 1970s he was an editor-in-chief of Apsara News. Currently the paper is headed by Sok Samnang, according to the Ministry of Information hompage (2012).