PHNOM PENH —
The Cambodian government has announced it will schedule monthly press briefings, following meetings with German officials.
Ouk Kimseng, Information Ministry spokesman, said an official would soon be appointed to field questions from the press corps.
“Organizing a regular press briefing is most useful for public institutions as spokesperson will have an opportunity to speak to journalists and the public about their institutions having done their work and what to do in the future,” he said.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Hun Sen held the first in what he promised would be a series of annual correspondents’ dinners in Phnom Penh.
The decision to begin monthly media briefings follows a visit to Berlin by several information ministry officials, sponsored by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), to observe the relationship between the media and state institutions.
Kay Kimsong, editor-in-chief of Post Khmer, welcomed the announcement, saying the briefings would enable journalists better access to officials.
“The gatherings ... are good and they have already prepared to answer reporters’ questions while reporters have prepared themselves to ask them...this is ideal,” he said.
Moeun Chhean Nariddh, director of the Cambodian Institute for Media Studies, said the events would also be an education for officials in how to interact with a lively press and would help strengthen democracy.
“In a democratic society, when we get better and good information, it will make our democracy even stronger democracy ... based on good governance, transparency and social accountability,” he said.
He added that he hoped spokespeople conducting the briefings would not try to mislead the public.