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PM calls on journalists to not ‘distort the truth’

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen at a gathering with national journalists and officials from the Ministry of Information in Koh Pich last year. KT/Khem Sovannara

Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on journalists to respect their roles and show professionalism in their coverage without violating the law.

His remarks came yesterday, on the fifth anniversary of the annual gathering between the Premier and journalists, warning that the government will not tolerate fake news.

Annually on January 14, Mr Hun Sen holds a meeting to review the progress of the media sector and yesterday would have been the fifth event. However, the meeting was cancelled due to COVID-19.

He instructed all journalists to adhere to professional practices, the media law and the principle of “not violating the rights of others and not distorting the truth”.

He said that last year, a small number of journalists used the media to engage in fraudulent activities to extort money in exchange for not publishing or deleting published information, act as a judge over land disputes, disseminate false information and pollute the social environment for personal gain, which deviates from journalistic professionalism.

“The government will not tolerate journalists who violate the law, disrespect the profession or commit corruption under the label of the press for personal gain, which affects security, order and social order,” he said.

Last year he said the government had provided his volunteer lawyers to help protect journalists.

Mr Hun Sen requested that all media outlets and journalists join the fight against COVID-19 by disseminating educational information and the Health Ministry’s measures.

“COVID-19 is a cruel infectious disease but the spread of social pollution is more vicious, which requires the government to take the necessary steps to protect the peace,” he said.

The Union of Journalist Federations of Cambodia (UJFC) on Monday released a report for 2020, saying it had intervened in 33 land dispute cases from 27 media outlets.

UJFC president Huy Vannak said: “UJFC encourages journalists to continue to play their role based on professional principles and to contribute to the fight against false information and to contribute to the promotion of our nation’s potential, prestige and excellence,” he said.

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