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Journalists Awarded for Reporting on Corruption

Om Yentieng, head of the government Anti-Corruption Unit, hands award to an outstanding reporter on corruption in Phnom Penh, July 22, 2015. (Hean Socheata/VOA Khmer)

The Club of Cambodian Journalists and Transparency International Cambodia on Wednesday announced the winners of a new award for journalists reporting on corruption.

The five journalists awarded for Outstanding Reporting on Corruption included three from the Phnom Penh Post newspaper, one from Radio France International, and one from the website Thmey Thmey.

Preak Kol, executive director for Transparency International Cambodia, said the number of journalists, citizen journalists and bloggers willing to report on corruption has increased in recent years, leading to the creation of the award.

First-place winner Phak Seangly, from the Phnom Penh Post, said he worked to see the “scale of corruption minimized.” “I write to make change in society,” he said.

Khorn Champa, third-place winner, from Thmey Thmey, said corruption was one of the main dangers to Cambodia. “This award is just part of my work,” she said. “But what I want to see is that everyone together fights corruption.”

Cambodia has had an anti-corruption law since 2010, but the practice remains endemic at all levels of government.

Om Yentieng, head of the government Anti-Corruption Unit, spoke at the awards ceremony for the journalists.

“I really appreciate what journalists do daily to serve the public interest,” he said. “Without journalists, life would be even harder, especially when the media is needed to fight corruption.”

The ACU plans to conduct training courses for journalists in the future, to help them understand legal issues related to corruption, he said.