Plans are in the works to extend the reach of newspapers into the provinces.
Media Consulting and Development, a private media monitoring business, has received about $200,000 from the Asia Foundation to produce several independent provincial newspapers, according to the company and Asia Foundation officials.
But some aspects of the project have not yet been decided, foundation officials said.
Sebastien Drans, director of MC&D, said his group is hoping to produce four papers in four provinces, though no decisions have been made on which provinces. MC&D is still applying for licenses and planning the specifics of the project, he said.
“I’ve been working with media issues in Cambodia for many years and felt that provincial newspapers were missing,” Drans said. “There is not a lot of provincial information in Phnom Penh and a lot of news does not get to provinces.”
MC&D submitted a proposal to the Asia Foundation, describing a project to produce regional publications. Drans said the foundation found the project interesting and signed a contract to provide aid. MC&D produces The Cambodian Press Headlines, which offers daily translations of newspaper headlines. About 10 foreign and Cambodian translators and media experts make up MC&D’s team.
Although a group of foreign journalists will train employees at the new publications, all of the reporters will be Cambodian and the newspaper will be printed in Khmer, Drans said.
He estimated that a first issue could be produced in June.
The Club of Cambodian Journalists also has plans to begin provincial newspapers, although it does not yet have the funding. On Dec 16, the organization met with media experts at the Sunway Hotel to present ideas.