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Cambodian Press Freedom Shows Improvement, Survey Reveals

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Information Minister Neth Pheaktra announced at a press conference on April 30, 2024, that a recent survey indicates a positive shift in the state of press freedom in Cambodia. The survey, which involved 341 journalists, was disseminated during the report on the "Status of Press Freedom in Cambodia" at the Ministry of Information.

According to Minister Pheaktra, 79.8% of the journalists surveyed rated the press freedom situation in Cambodia as good, with 8.8% of them stating it was the best. The survey highlighted that a significant majority, 95%, agreed that the country's media landscape is actively contributing to the promotion of press freedom. Furthermore, nearly 80% of journalists feel they have complete freedom in their reporting and face no constraints in gathering information, producing content, and publishing.

The survey also underscored the importance journalists place on adhering to professional ethics, with almost 100% of participants acknowledging its significance in their work. However, it revealed educational gaps, noting that only 33.3% of respondents possess a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Training for journalists appears to be robust but brief, with 91.2% having received some form of journalism training, though most were short courses. Only a small fraction, 2.25%, have received extended journalism training from colleges, and even fewer, 0.65%, have trained abroad.

The survey reached journalists through 350 varied questions, highlighting the extensive efforts to gauge the media environment accurately. Among those surveyed, 6.5% were women, reflecting ongoing challenges in gender diversity within the media sector.

Minister Pheaktra emphasized the significance of this survey as the first comprehensive, locally conducted assessment of press freedom by and for Cambodian journalists. The results represent not only a snapshot of the current media freedom landscape but also a crucial tool for future improvements and policy-making.

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