Basic Data


Official Country Name: Kingdom of Cambodia
Region (Map name): Southeast Asia
Population: 12,212,306
Language(s): Khmer, French, English
Literacy rate: 35%

War and political strife have stifled modern Cambodia's media. The Cambodian government controls both the print and electronic press. Officials often intimidate, fine, or imprison journalists who stray from accepted media policies, particularly concerning human rights issues. Reporting is often hazardous, especially during volatile elections. Because the Khmer Rouge purged journalists, training programs teach media skills to inexperienced reporters. The Khmer Journalists Association encourages Cambodian journalists to act professionally; however, underpaid journalists sometimes resort to extortion to supplement their incomes.

Most media is centered in Khmer. More Cambodians acquire information from radio than from any other media. There are an estimated one million radios in Cambodia. Broadcasts are accessible in all provinces, and people who do not own radios can hear broadcasts on market loudspeakers. The Khmer Rouge seized control of Phnom Penh's radio station in 1975 to broadcast propaganda. After Vietnamese forces defeated the Khmer Rouge and temporarily occupied Cambodia, radio services were gradually restored. The Kampuchean Radio and Television Commission was established in 1983. The Voice of the Kampuchean People (VOKP), later called Voice of Cambodia, was on the air by the late 1980s.

Rebel Khmer Rouge forces continued to broadcast from remote locations. The Cambodia Radio Journalists' Training Project, aiming to improve Cambodia's 13 radio stations, was initiated in 1999.

There are only 100,000 televisions in Cambodia, and more urban dwellers than rural have access to television media. Skeptical Cambodians were convinced that Khmer Rouge dictator Pol Pot had died when his corpse was broadcast on television. In March 1986, Television Kampuchea (TVK) first broadcast in Phnom Penh. By the twenty-first century, six television stations broadcast various programming.

Phnom Penh is the nucleus of print journalism. The largest daily Khmer-language newspaper, Rasmei Kampuchea, has a circulation of 15,000. When United Nations peacekeepers encouraged democracy, more English-language newspapers began to be printed. The biweekly, independent Phnom Penh Post ( ) started in 1992. Newspapers Phnom Penh Daily ( ), Cambodia Daily , Cambodia Times (which ceased publication in 1997), and magazines Bayon Pearnik and Indradevi feature contrasting views. Journalists have successfully countered government efforts to make Cambodia's press laws more restrictive. Several Internet sites also post Cambodian news.


Mehta, Harish C. Cambodia Silenced: The Press Under Six Regimes . Introduction and photgraphs by Tim Page. Bangkok: White Lotus Company Ltd., 1997.

Ross, Russell R., ed. Cambodia: A Country Study . 3rd ed. Washington, D.C.: Federal Research Division Library of Congress, 1990.

Schanberg, Sydney H. The Death and Life of Dith Pran . New York: Viking, 1985.

Elizabeth D. Schafer

Also read article about Cambodia from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

I would like to know more about the media outlets in Cambodia, how is it today?, Why foreign Media seems so interested in having outlets there?, as well as foreign interests in that country.


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