Cambodia’s minister of information has criticized the country’s journalism school graduates for not having a high-standard of general knowledge required for the job.
Khieu Kanharith, the minister, told students at the Department of Media and Communication that general knowledge was crucial to becoming a successful journalist.
“General knowledge is so important for a journalist, to be able to analyze whether the news is accurate or not… So if we lack general knowledge, we will suck, and most DMC students lack general knowledge,” he said.
Som Ratana, head of the department, agreed with Kanharith, saying he had “noted down” what the minister had said. “We will try to figure out what is the root cause and we will take action to enhance our quality.”
At a Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ) meeting on December 16, CCJ president Pen Bona said despite Cambodia scoring better in press freedom rankings than several of its Asean neighbors, the ability off its journalists was still limited.
“We are a country that has just emerged from war and it’s good that we have freedom. But we should not care about ranking and instead care about reality. In reality, we lack a lot of things,” he said.
“Our journalists are not skillful enough and their English proficiency is fairly average. Also their general knowledge is limited.”
Kanharith, the information minister, said: “We are able to collect the data, but our ability to analyze that data is limited.”
“We are unable to critically analyze a situation, especially a national or international situation, because we rarely read international news,” he added.
Bona said the CCJ would organize more training events to try and improve the skills and knowledge of journalists.