The Post at 29: Diverse viewpoints from readers on 29th anniversary

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Since it first began operations until today, the newspaper – in Khmer and English – are still popular among readers from all walks of life in the country. Heng Chivoan

The Phnom Penh Post published its first edition in July 1992, marking its 29th anniversary this month.

Since it first began operations until today, the newspaper – in Khmer and English – still stands at the top among the rich sources of media in Cambodia providing factual, accurate, independent, high quality and reliable information.

The following are diverse viewpoints from our readers – including analysts, government officials and journalism experts – about The Post on the occasion of our 29th anniversary celebrations.

Pen Bona, president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists who has been following The Post since its inception, says: “Before, I used to get a print newspaper, but now . . . mostly I get the news through The Post’s Facebook page. The news I like to read from The Post is the latest breaking news and economic news.

Frankly speaking, newspapers now have a lot in common with exclusively-online news outlets, bearing in mind that print publications also offer electronic editions … On the other hand, some material, such as economic reporting by The Post is au courant and unique.

“The Post began as an English-language newspaper. In my opinion, I want The Post to be a newspaper that can be a reference for other papers in the region and the world and that can be quoted as an argument for their news.

“If possible, The Post should continue to improve its quality level. For example, we should have analysts who are capable of analysing local, regional and global issues because we are a foreign language newspaper with both Cambodian and foreign readers and we must provide knowledge to both,” he says.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
People read The Post during breakfast at a cafeteria in Phnom Penh. The Post published its first edition in July 1992, marking its 29th anniversary this month. Heng Chivoan

Phos Sovann, director-general of the Ministry of Information’s Department of Information and Broadcasting who has been following the news via The Post since before 2007, says: “I mostly get my information from The Post through Telegram because I use it regularly. I need to verify a lot of information, so I follow the headlines and read the newspaper that is always on my desk every morning.

“As for convenience, it is easy for me. I like to follow a variety of information . . . I still need a print newspaper because I can work with it on my desk to review some parts of it as there are too many articles on the internet.”

Regarding topics or types of news that he would like to see published, Sovann says: “Not just me, but also the information minister wants to see [positive news]. Those who excel at something should be featured on the pages of the newspaper.

“Meaning a feature that shows people doing what they are best at: A good teacher, a good commune chief, a good governor or a good worker. A page telling your readers about role models on a regular basis that we would like to know about,” he says.

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Cambodian Institute for Democracy president Pa Chanroeun, who regularly reads The Post and is also a frequent interviewee for the paper, says he regularly reads The Post’s news through various channels such as its Telegram or Facebook page.

“I have been reading The Post ever since I studied for my bachelor’s degree. But I did not buy it myself back then, I went to the school office to read it. It was a long time ago and our internet was not as fast as it is today, so we were only reading The Post as a newspaper,” he said.

“I always read economic, social, cultural, political and educational news that matches my interests. I am satisfied with The Post’s viewpoint. Despite the change of ownership and politics, The Post remains more neutral than other newspapers in Cambodia. I hope that The Post will stand as an independent newspaper and maintain its position as a true news organisation to provide factual information to citizens and all stakeholders,” he said.

Chanroeun also says he would like to see The Post publish some news articles related to cultural and social morality that provide some good examples for people to use as role models and that showcase a positive outlook on Khmer society.

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Minister of Civil Service Prum Sokha, a fan of The Post since its inception, welcomes the continued operations of The Post and hopes that the newspaper will continue to disseminate information to contribute to Cambodia’s development.

“The information published by The Post is what readers can use with clear sources for reference. The Post has stood the test of time and that means it has contributed to the democratic process in Cambodia and served its readers by spreading diverse information.

“I still receive a lot of information from The Post, whether it is the print newspaper or through other channels of The Post, I get everything.

“I consider the print newspaper to still be useful and I support the Khmer language publications for the Cambodian people, who previously only had foreign language news to rely on, so for those who know less English, they can read in Khmer,” he says.