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ASEAN journalists tour Cambodian state media facilities

DAVAO CITY- Several journalists from the different countries comprising the (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) visited the different government media facilities under the Cambodian Ministry of Information.

The six day visit (May 3- May 9) of the 19 ASEAN journalists which included two information officers from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA Region  3 Regional Director William Beltran and PIA Region 11 Information Officer III Rudolph Alama) comprises the "Tour of ASEAN Journalists to Observe the SEA Games" sponsored by the ASEAN Cultural Fund.

The delegates visited several venues of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh such as the Morodoc Techo Stadium, Chroy Changvar Convention Center and the Dinosaur Park Hall. They also went to Sihanouk Province (the former Sihanoukville) visiting the sailing and beach volleyball venues.

On May 5 the visitors went to on a tour around the facilities and offices of the National TV of Cambodia (TVK), Agence Kampuchea Press, and the Radio National of Kampuchea.

TVK visit

The National TV of Cambodia or TVK comprises two channels TVK1 and the more recent TVK2. It is owned and operated by the government. The first channel TVK1 started in 1982 after the brutal Khmer Rouge regime was ousted.

“TVK2 started around during the covid pandemic. The TVK2’s main focus is to support the students in their study because at that time the school is closed, we show the curriculum so they learn at home,” says Prak Mamolin, advisor Ministry of Information and TVK overseer.

Mamolin says the programs of TVK1 is news which is the main program then they have sports, entertainment and special events.

Their news department have 70 people gathering the news across Cambodia.

“We have plans to upgrade our equipment because right now the digital program is moving ahead the Ministry and the TVK plans to move step-by-step. We moved from SD (standard definition) to HD (High Definition) right now we move to 4k,” Mamolin said.

The journalists were able to tour the studios and the newsroom of TVK and saw the equipment and processes which enabled TVK to transmit the news of the games to the general public.

A studio setup of a livestreamed radio news report at Radio National Kampuchea

Agence Kampuchea Press

The AKP is the national news agency of Cambodia under the Ministry of Information.

It was established in Dec. 29, 1978 by the united front fighting the Khmer Rouge regime. Originally known as Sapordamean Kampuchea (SPK), after the 1993 elections it became the Agence Kampuchea Press.

“AKP has around 146 staff mostly they are from the local news department and photos department. We have around 15 photographers, 5 videographer and 30 reporters,” says Thach Phanarong Deputy Director General of the AKP.

The visiting ASEAN journalists toured the new AKP building beside the main Ministry of Information building. They were able to visit the studios and the film department which stored several film photos since 1978.

The film department put up in 1993 has an archived collection of 200,000 films of which 80,000 have been digitized.

The AKP has a website which contains national news written in Khmer, English and French.

Phanarong said Cambodia now has a thriving media landscape as compared to 1978 to 1993 when AKP was the only news media in the country. Now aside from traditional media there are many online media outfits in Cambodia.

“We have 5,000 reporters include private and government,” Phanarong said.

Radio National Kampuchea

The office of the Radio National Kampuchea located outside the Ministry of Information compound.

There was a state-run radio station in 1950 until the coming of Khmer Rouge in 1975 totally silenced radio. They were able to return after the fall of the Khmer Rouge.

With 262 personnel RNK has several units comprising; local news unit, overseas news unit, technical unit, programming unit and the general administration. It has three frequencies two FM and one AM. And they broadcast in five languages English, French, Chinese, Vietnam and Arabic.

The RNK produces and broadcasts news four times a day and repeat the news five times a day.

Aside from providing broadcasting services one of their official functions is to oversee the sound system during the events involving high-ranking government officials like the prime minister.

“Whenever the prime minister goes in Cambodia, in the countryside, the city the radio takes responsibility of the sound system,”

They are also overseeing the sound system of the SEA Games being held in the country.

The visitor journalists were able to tour the different studios inside the RNK building and witnessed several radio broadcasts at the studios. Aside from the traditional broadcasting these programs are now being streamed over the website and on Facebook.

Aside from the various sporting venues and the government media facilities the group also toured several attractions in Phnom Penh such as the royal palace and the national museum where they gained new insights on the rich ancient history of Cambodia. (PIA/RG Alama)

A visit to the film department of the Agence Kampuchea Press that houses 200,000 photos taken by Cambodian photojournalists since 1978
The visiting journalists were able to witness the opening ceremony of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games at the Morodoc Techo Stadium

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Rudolph Ian Alama

Regional Editor

Region 11

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