Media for Peace and Peace Research

Project Title: Linking Research and Strategic Peacebuilding

Project Description: Cambodian media is plagued with irresponsible practices that include key characteristics of war journalism such as orientations towards the ‘us versus them’ perspective, bias in favor of the elite and powerful, sensationalism and normalization of violence, and propagandizing. There is a lot of work to be done in order to push media sector out of those obstacles and to encourage them to effectively carry out their role. The pointed out circumstantial reasons behind such practices include lack of formal training in journalism, low salary, control of and loyalty to parties and figures of authorities, and the lack of integrity and passion for public service.  The practice of political bias in reporting news still follow by some Khmer language newspapers, overwhelming focus on accidents and crimes, and inadequate attention towards social issues. (Annex: ACT-An analysis of the Cambodian Print Media Analysis 2012-2013)

There are few legal provisions across the sector seeking to establish transparency with regard to relevant media activities. Nevertheless, some individual rules and codes of media outlets exist, including regulations regarding reporting policies. Legal provisions regarding to transparency in the media sector broadly speaking are limited. The absence of a broadcasting law as well as law on access to information emphasizes the shortcomings of the existing legal framework with regard to disclosure of information.

We notes that a number of researchers have attributed the lack of research capacity in Cambodian universities to what they see as deep-seated and endemic cultural features of the society. The lack of research capacity may stem from deeper cultural traditions in Cambodia. In the traditional teaching, the teacher leads and students passively follow. Learning without a teacher, which is the essence of research, goes against this tradition.” In addition, an observation about reading materials in the Khmer language is that a lack of research capacity may also stem from deeper cultural traditions in Cambodia.

Some examples of these traditions might be the historically hierarchical societal roots in which children are taught by rote and also taught not to question either parents or teachers or any other authority figures. It is not “polite” to question others and questioning is the essence of research at all levels. Furthermore, there is a lack of stimulating reading provided for children in Khmer language, and libraries are a relatively new addition to some urban and semi-urban schools. A “research culture” at universities does not develop automatically or within a short time frame. To begin with, the team notes that a number of researchers have attributed the lack of research capacity in Cambodian universities to what they see as deep-seated and endemic cultural features of the society.

Media for Peace:

  1. Print and social media producers provide peaceful information and messages for sustainable peace to public audience.

Peace Research:

  1. Research findings conducted by well-equipped researchers are used for policy change and improved practice at different levels by government and other stakeholders.

Project period: 2013-2018

Target: Phnom Penh and Takeo province

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