PHNOM PENH, August 19, (Khmer Times) – Spokespersons representing some ministries still suffer from a limited capacity which causes slowdowns to organizational improvement
In an effort to build capacity, many spokespersons and representatives from ministries, communes and provinces in Cambodia were invited to attend a workshop on “How to Work Effectively as a Spokesperson” on August 18-19.
While attending the workshop, Ouk Kimseng, consultant for the Ministry of Information, commented on the chronic problems of spokesperson ambiguity, vagueness and avoidance.
“The government leaders should reconsider and find other people who like the post as information officials to replace those who never answer reporters’ questions,” Mr. Ouk Kimseng said.
Chhay Sophal, a lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said that there are spokespersons already set-up in some ministries that don’t have the full capabilities to perform their job yet.
“Some spokespersons themselves don’t understand their role and their high level [supervisors] don’t provide them enough right to speak,” said Mr. Chhay Sophal.
Denis Schrey, country representative of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, said that more time is needed for spokespersons of ministries in Cambodia to improve their capacity.
Mr. Schrey added that he hopes that spokespersons in each ministry will be able to respond directly and provide good answers about their ministries to reporters. In addition, spokespersons need to interchange between journalists and their ministry.
Mr. Chhay Sophal, who has many years of experience as a journalist in Cambodia, also said that spokespersons need to be patient and read and learn everything related to their organization. He added that spokespersons especially need to have education in journalism skills.