Cambodia-China Journalist Association Launched to Promote ‘Positive News’

The initiative, supported by both governments, marks another step toward replacing Cambodia’s once free press with China’s model of information, media experts say.

On a recent afternoon at a glitzy conference room at the Sofitel, one of Phnom Penh’s high-end hotels, senior Cambodian officials, Chinese Embassy officials, and Cambodian and Chinese media representatives launched an initiative they hoped would influence local news coverage.

As confetti rained down and glasses of wine were raised in toast, Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith hailed the newly established “Cambodia-China Journalist Association” (CCJA), which he said would have as its main goal the publication of positive stories about the political and economic relations between his country and China.

“There are many Chinese nationals and Chinese investors who have done well in Cambodia, but there are media reports of bad deeds by a tiny number of [Chinese] people,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we hide the bad deeds, but there are so many good deeds we can report.”

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