Encouraging media to providing information of upcoming national election 2018 process was conducted during the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day on 29 July 2018. The workshop aimed to celebrate the world press freedom day that follow the theme “Keeping Power Checks Medias, Justice and Rule of Law”, remembering the professional journalist and social media activist who are dead / persecuted by their fact and true media content / broadcasted, and the event also shared the two research finding on role of media in providing the information of national election and the media situation in Cambodia. During this event there were 104 participants (23 Females) that they’re from differences media in Cambodia, the staff of NGOs and social media users, most of them are youth.
Welcoming the participants in the event by Ms. Sotheavy the Executive Director of ACT and opening by the representative from MoIFo. There were 4 speakers working related to media and election field join with us: first speaker H.E. Meas Sophorn, under Secretary of MoIFo, he speak about “the role of media in providing information with just peace”. He said that the ministry of information has position to controlling media, but during national election process NEC and Mol working together to observe process that don’t respect to the guideline of the law of NEC.
The second speaker is Mr. Khorn Keomonor, the General Director of General Department of Media and Communication of NEC’s speak about Providing and improving reflects for media and journalist during national election2018 process. He said that NEC have a lot of step during the election registration, checking up name list, propaganda, elect day and result announcement, now the first step is completed. For program spearing the policy of each parties, NEC is the one who controlling this and each parties have equal time on TV and radio, but social media is not yet include media in NEC but it not mean that social media can do anything out of law if someone post something that seriously that lead to cause the unbalance in the society, NEC can send a lawsuit to court. Journalist especially citizen journalist must careful for broadcast the primary information of counting vote pepper and should not live the video during voting process because it can cause a serious problem.
The third speaker is Mr. Som Kuntheami, Executive Director of NICFEC shared about “experience of CSOs in the election observation and improving reflects for media and journalist during national election2018 process” and the Fourth, Mr. San Chey, Executive Director ANSA shared about situation of media and right to access information during the national election 2018. He said representative for the citizen what Cambodia citizen want to access is the information about political party policy. So media need to stand in the middle to broadcast the true and balance news for future of Cambodia. He feels worry about rights to access information is very difference form last year election because some of media are closed so he inspires journalist to write the truth news that can be the good reference for world researcher and analysts. Finally he wishes that all journalist and media joint responsibility to become a mirror for solidarity society, media and organization by hoping that the Medias and journalists don’t spread out the fake news because it will be make more violence in the society and encourage media to engage for transparence news to this society.
The discussion above is we’re taken the challenges from the two surveys of ACT, the first survey is on the role of Journalists during the national election in 2018 found that the journalist have important role during the election process to provide the face and true information to the citizen. The research show some good point and also the challenges that they meet during the election process related to provide the information on the party policy is not accurate and balance because most of media institution is under control by one party it mean that the media in politic trend. For the journalist challenges, collected the information were forbidden to report or broadcast the news accounted to 45.83%, threat from politician or involved people accounted to 54.17%, got insult and contempt accounted to 25%, bribe accounted to 4.17%, not allow from editor or director accounted to 25%, media institution trend accounted to 37.50% and other accounted to 16.67%.