Ministry Orders Reform at F’pec FM Station

The Information Ministry has or­dered Funcinpec-affiliated radio station Ta Prohm FM 90.5 to stop its an­nouncers from making on-air comments while reading from Khmer-language newspapers, In­for­mation Minister Khieu Kan­harith said Thursday.

Khieu Kanharith wrote by e-mail that if Ta Prohm does not follow the ministry’s order, the government would shut the news program down.

“What I am asking is just read the news as it was printed on the newspaper,” Khieu Kanharith wrote.

“The guy who is just tasked to just read news articles made comment[s] beyond the intent of a re­porter and by this action distorted the intent of a reporter or a newspaper,” he added.

Van Chhai, a producer for Ta Prohm, said Thursday that the station had since Monday stopped its announcers on the newspaper reading program from making comments. Van Chhai blamed his radio an­nouncers for adding their own com­ments while reading from the newspapers.

“There is no policy at the station to add comments,” he added.

Nhiek Bun Chhay, Funcinpec Sec­retary-General, said he was un­aware of the Information Min­is­try’s order, but said he agreed with it.

“When we make mistakes, the min­istry reminds us—it’s normal,” Nhiek Bun Chhay said.

Mam Sonando, owner of Bee­hive Radio FM 105, said he agreed that there was no need for ad­dit­ional comments to be made when reading newspaper stories on the air.

He added, however, that the government does not get “annoyed” when the newspaper readers say positive things about officials.

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