The annual meeting usually held in January between Prime Minister Hun Sen and journalists has been cancelled due to COVID-19 transmission fears. Instead, journalists can submit their requests in writing.
Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said: “I have already written to the Prime Minister asking to cancel the meeting with the journalists on January 14 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We cannot celebrate this annual meeting,” he told journalists in his closing remarks at the 17th Editors’ Forum held by the Club of Cambodian Journalists on Saturday.
Kanharith said even though there will be no meeting with Mr Hun Sen, the journalists can make requests to him as normal.
“The ministry is waiting to hear the requests and concerns from the journalists. If they have any serious requests or concerns, the ministry will report to the Prime Minister,” said Kanharith.
“On January 14, even though there will be no event, [the Prime Minister] may make a response by message responding to all journalists,” said Kanharith.
He said that at the annual meeting earlier this year, two requests were made on behalf of all journalists including a lawyer for legal defence and a social security fund.
There is now a legal aid team to offer services to defend journalists, but only those who abide by ethical standards in their respective professional news coverage, while the social security fund is in process, he said.
January 14 is the annual date for a meeting to review progress in the media sector and this would have been the fifth event.
The “solidarity dinner” was attended by Mr Hun Sen, journalists, spokespersons and information officials from across the country.