Minister: Widen coverage of ‘23 Games

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Information minister Khieu Kanharith (center), CAMSOC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun (right) and Phos Sovann of the ministry’s information and broadcast general department at the press coference on May 7. AKP

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith encouraged local radio and television stations – as well as all other media – to widen coverage of Cambodia’s journey to the 2023 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) and the ASEAN Para Games. Broad exposure will build excitement, make the historic event a success and boost the Kingdom’s prestige on the international stage, he said.

Kanharith considers the hosting of the games a historic event in the life of the Khmer people, so all media have a duty to help report on preparations. This way, the people of Cambodia will be aware of what is planned and will be ready to participate in the event, the first time it has been hosted here.

“Today we are meeting together, it is important to invite all of you who are presenters, commentators, reporters and hosts who are responsible for radio, television and newspapers – as well as provincial information departments – to inform our [compatriots] about the importance of what is needed to organise the SEA Games,” the minister said during a May 7 media conference at Morodok Techo National Stadium.

“You must all follow the preparations and cover them widely in your respective media, so the public is aware of what is involved. Hosting the games is very important to the Kingdom. We have been waiting 64 years for this opportunity. It is possible that some of us will only see this once in our lifetime, which makes it a truly historic occasion. We must all do our best to showcase the achievements of the nation.”

The press conference was also attended by Vath Chamrouen, secretary-general of the Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) and Phos Sovann, head of the ministry’s General Department of Information and Broadcast and also chairman of the CAMSOC information commission.

Speaking on the same occasion, Chamroeun said: “In the case of sporting events, if there is a lack of promotion, it seems that the value of an event can be reduced by 50 per cent. Without the help of the media, the games could lose some of their core value, so we have set up a committee to help inspire increased coverage and promotion. We intend to produce high quality broadcasting content that can be sold abroad, but we will disseminate it to our local media for free and allow it to be broadcast.”

Kanharith echoed Chamroeun’s remarks, saying: “[If] there is poor media coverage, the impact of the historic event may be halved. If our coverage is of a high quality, it will enhance the success of the Phnom Penh games. First we must inspire the public to support the games. Second, we must spark people’s passion for sports of all kinds. And third, we must inspire the younger generation to join us in making the 32nd SEA Games a huge success. These are the three tasks, which we, the media, must focus our attention on.

“The sports committees and federations are the professional trainers and we are the promoters of each sport. I think if we fulfill our roles well, the games will be a spectacular showcase of the pride and energy of our nation. Our athletes are growing stronger every year, so we should be competitive on the field as well as off of it,” he added.