Deum Ampil closes newspaper after 4 years

Money problems have forced Deum Ampil News media center to shutter all of its operations as of yesterday except its online news website, said Soy Sopheap, director general of DAP media center.

“Our media center has been closed, including Deum Ampil newspaper, Deum Ampil radio broadcasting and Morokat magazine, due to lack of funds,” Mr Sopheap said, adding that the website is still running. “Today I sent a letter to inform Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith that DAP media center has closed down effective July 1.”

The pro-ruling party DAP media center began publishing its newspaper on Dec 19, 2006, but only later created Morokat magazine and started broadcasting on the radio, according to Mr Sopheap.

“There are over 100 staff members of DAP media center in Phnom Penh and 10 other provinces,” he said. “They have ability and I hope they will get work as journalists elsewhere.”

Soy Sophea, editor of Morokat magazine, said yesterday that the closure was a result of disagreements with the media center’s owner, Heng Development company, which wanted to cut its budget by 50 percent.

“The reason our DAP media center closed was because the owner, Heng Development company, wanted to cut the staff and salaries at the media center by 50 percent, and because each month the owner lost about $50,000,” Mr Sophea claimed.

“We could only cut 38 percent of the salary, but we couldn’t cut our staff, because we need them to work,” he said.

Seng Chanheng, owner of Heng Development, declined to comment yesterday, saying she is only involved in the company’s real estate holdings.

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