Phnom Penh Governor Chea Sophara wants to build a radio station at the mountain temple of Preah Vihear to bring news and other programs to the villagers in the region.
The station, which will broadcast on FM 99 MHz, will use Preah Vihear province residents as announcers, but the programming has not been determined, Chea Sophara said.
“Wat Phnom has one,” he said. “We must get one in Preah Vihear, too.”
Most of the 125,000 people in the remote province have little access to Cambodian news, said Long Sovann, Preah Vihear second deputy governor. The most important stories for them would be about temples and the living condition of other Cambodians, he added.
“It is a great idea to have it right here,” he said. “My people in this province have had a shortage of news stories and information on what has been happening in recent years.”
News would be sent to Preah Vihear programmers by telephone, Chea Sophara said. Six employees have been hired already and will travel to Phnom Penh next week for training.
Preah Vihear residents were chosen as announcers because they speak in the accent familiar to listeners in the province, Chea Sophara said.
The site has already been established, and a small delegation of local officials and radio experts from Phnom Penh TV3 and radio FM 103 inspected the site Monday. The station will be built on the side of the mountain about 200 meters from the ancient temple on top, Chea Sophara said.
The cost of the constructing the station hasn’t been determined. Construction will be completed in the next three months, said Chhon Pengleng, director of the FM 103 station in Phnom Penh.
There are about 24,000 families living near the temple who would receive the signal. Officials said they were unsure how far the signal would carry, but noted that it would be picked up in neighboring Thailand as well. Cambodians living on the border can usually pick up Thai radio and television signals.
Preah Vihear province benefits from an administrative arrangement that makes Phnom Penh its sister city.