Students unfazed by reporter’s murder
Friday, 18 July 2008
The Mekong Times
Intimidation, detention and particularly murder don’t necessarily make journalism students give up their commitment to the news profession.
Keo Kounila, a student at advertising management of Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), expressed sorrow over the murder of Moneaksekar Khmer newspaper journalist Khim Sambo and his son, Khat Sarin, at a press conference Thursday that showcased the achievements of the students with the Department of Media and Communications (DMC) at RUPP. She stressed that the murder will not discourage her from becoming a journalist. “It doesn’t discourage me. I still want to be a journalist because journalists play a key role in a democratic society to inform society with true news,” Keo Kounila said. “To overcome all obstacles as journalists, we must have specific skills, ethics and heavy responsibilities.”
Lim Seangheng, a second-year media management student at RUPP, claimed the journalism profession is now open to women. Lim Seangheng is proud of her participation along with other second-year students in forming the newspaper Cambodia Votes 2008, which was unveiled at Thursday’s press conference at RUPP. The first 24-page edition has over 50 articles written by the students and was published with a budget of over US$10,000.
The five-day study tour to Stung Treng province and the Lao border and additional research in other regions in Cambodia is part of the “Report on the Election” project, which stemmed from the almost three years of cooperation between the DMC and the German Development Service (DED).
“Training journalists in election is the high-quality result of media education. DMC and DED are very proud of the achievements and good cooperation,” said Wolfgang Moeller, director of DED in Cambodia, during the press conference. “DED has assisted DMC for nearly two and a half years by sending its two advisors and media experts.”
He added that the DED has provided about US$30,000 in funding this year for the program that includes courses on journalism ethics.
Tieng Sopheakvichea, co-director of the DMC, stressed the importance of the program’s mission. “We can say that a good journalism profession relies on a journalist who has knowledge, ethics, and responsibilities,” he said. “At school, each student receives the same training, but they do a different job in society.”
The DMC enrolls 30 students per year for a four-year bachelor degree.
Pram Seila, a student in the department, said he is “very happy” about the end result of the newspaper.
“It shows what we have learned and about the commitment of future professional journalists, and it will provide a lot of benefits to the nation.”
Hul Reasmei, reporter from Radio Free Asia, who attended the ceremony, was impressed with the finbal product. “Each story has interviews with sufficient sources, balance, and good usage of words.”
One thousand copies of Cambodia Votes 2008 are not for sale, but for free distribution.