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Professionalism Best Mechanism to Protect Journalists, Expert Says

  • Say Mony
  • VOA Khmer

Som Ratana, acting director of the department of media and communication at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, told “Hello VOA” on Monday.

Som Ratana, acting director of the department of media and communication at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, told “Hello VOA” on Monday.

Journalists need to be more professional in their reporting, which is the best way to protect themselves, a media educator says.

“Like any other profession, journalism can be risky, but if journalists follow their professional codes of conduct and ethics and work with responsibility, there should be no problems for them,” Som Ratana, acting director of the department of media and communication at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, told “Hello VOA” on Monday.

In fact, Cambodia can be quite dangerous for reporters, and nearly a dozen murders of journalists over the years have gone unsolved. In recent labor demonstration crackdowns, several journalists were injured.

Som Ratana said the government needs to make sure journalists are protected. But journalists themselves need to make sure they are working professionally.

“Some journalists sometimes were killed because they had worked beyond their responsibility, beyond what they were supposed to do in their roles,” he said. “So we are trying to make sure the young generations of journalists walk on a professional and ethical path, so that they can protect themselves.”

Some people claiming to be journalists in the provinces have been reportedly extorting money from illegal loggers and other criminals, in exchange for silence.

Som Ratana said he hopes that professionalism will increase in Cambodia’s media corps in the future.

“When these young journalism graduates get into the old-habit newsrooms, they'll try to change them step by step,” he said.
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