Beehive Radio To Quintuple Its Frequency

Beehive Radio will be boosting its frequency up to 5 kilowatts later this month, the station’s owner said Tuesday.

“I increase the radio frequency ac­cording to the people’s re­quests. My radio station will disseminate information about the democratic process and general knowledge for the people,” station owner Mam Sonando said.

Beehive Radio, currently powered at 1 kilowatt out of Phnom Penh, now reaches nearby prov­inces such as Kompong Cham, Kampot and Prey Veng. Mam Sonando said he hopes the higher frequency will carry his programming to most of the country.

The new broadcasting equipment, which is being shipped from Italy and cost the station about $60,000, was purchased with donations from NGOs and listeners.

Mam Sonando said he has hoped to boost Beehive’s frequency since 1997, but the station was looted that year by soldiers during factional fighting.

Kem Sokha, former Funcinpec lawmaker and founder of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, praised Mam Sonando Tuesday for broadening his broadcast radius. “There is only Beehive Radio station that is independent in Cambodia. This radio broadcasts the true information and educates the people about the democratic process,” he said.

Kem Sokha said it is important for people to listen to Beehive so they can know what is truly happening in Cambodia. In addition, listeners can call in and voice their opinions over the air.

“Other radio stations in Cam­bo­dia are pro-government. Those stations broadcast only what is good for the government,” Kem Sokha said.

Information Minister Lu Lay­sreng disagreed, noting that many sta­tions in Cambodia re­port news accurately. “Beehive only has credibility be­cause the station always criticizes the government. The Bee­hive information is not always good. Pro­moting democracy is a long process. Cambodia just re­covered from the communist leadership. It must be [done] step by step,” he said.

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