Thmey Thmey online news and Women’s Radio FM 102 on Thursday announced a partnership that will see journalists from both outlets join forces to create evening news bulletins to be broadcast daily starting Saturday.
“Our concept is independent Cambodian news, by Cambodians, for Cambodians, and 102 FM makes it possible to reach out to most of the population in the remote areas,” said Ky Soklim, CEO and chief reporter at Thmey Thmey.
“We will be presenting one-hour news bulletins at 5 p.m. every day and also five minute pieces every hour—just like BBC.”
Thmey Thmey is an independent news site launched two years ago by a group of ex-Radio France Internationale correspondents, and is trying to provide an alternative to the largely pro-CPP Khmer-language news in the country.
Quach J. Mengly, who holds the honorary title of “oknha,” or “tycoon,” owns 49 percent of Thmey Thmey and has big plans for the news in Cambodia.
President of the American Intercon School, founder of the Mengly J. Quach University Hospital and CEO of the Paul’s Brewhouse coffee chain, the 44-year-old U.S.-educated doctor this week also presided over agreements to publish Thmey Thmey in Japanese and French.
“There are many French in Cambodia and there is a large population of Japanese in Thailand and across Asia who are ready to [do] business in Cambodia,” Dr. Quach said, adding that he hoped to launch online in both languages by April.
“If we can get more information to them through online, it is more likely that they will come to Cambodia.”
On top of schools, hospitals and restaurants, Dr. Quach’s portfolio includes a post as adviser to the Council of Ministers, but he sees no conflict of interest with his media role.
“In some respects, you could say I am [affiliated with the CPP] but that does not mean I agree with every policy, rule or regulation,” he said.
“I am a former board member of Transparency International Cambodia. My affiliation with the party does not affect my opinion or my thinking. For me, I think for myself, and I speak my mind,” he said.
Mr. Soklim, the Thmey Thmey CEO who says his journalists are some of the “most respected, neutral and independent in the country,” said the editorial line of Thmey Thmey will remain free from interference.
“[Dr. Quach] is an adviser to the Council of Ministers but he is a businessman with many jobs. This is just another job,” Mr. Soklim said.
“When [Dr. Quach] is with us, he must respect the code of ethics of the journalist. The editorial line is mine. This is my stance.”