Basic Journalism Training Course for Journalists

Club of Cambodian Journalists started a one-month basic journalism training course for journalists on 08 January in its effort to professionalize the Cambodian media practitioners.

In his opening remarks, Pen Samitthy, the president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said that most of the journalists, who are currently working for the media outlets, do not have proper training before they started their career as journalist. This is a big problem in the Cambodian media and its future. Thus, the training course which is conducted every Friday and Saturday starting from 08 January is aimed at helping the working journalists improve their skills and professionalism in their mission to seek for the truth to inform the public.

I strongly believe that when Cambodia has a strong media, the democracy in the country will be more active as the people are well-informed, said Pen Samitthy, the president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists.

He added that when the people are well-informed they can make a right decision on their future and the country’s.

The CCJ president told the 29 trainees from print media, broadcasting media, and on-line media about their important role in the process of democracy. He said that through their coverage the media can make a change for the better. However, he warned that a story can not make a change. And in order to make a change for the better, the journalists shall follow and write a series of stories on social issues which affect the daily life of the people. In this mission, the journalists can be sued by any person or group who see the media a threat against their interest. Thus, all journalists are required to adhere to ethical and professional practice and to be aware of laws which are related to their work.

In the one-month training course which is coordinated by Mr.Nguon Serath, the CCJ office manager, the journalists are taught about principal theories of journalism, and different skills in reporting about crimes, politics, courts, and economics.

In order to help the Cambodian journalists to avoid lawsuits, the training course also touched upon the ethical standards, and laws which are related to the media practice. In addition, the trainees were also given assignments on writing stories. And the lecturers gave their reflections on the stories which had been written by the trainees.

The lecturers of the training course include Nguon Serath, the CCJ office manager, Chhay Sophal, the CCJ education officer, Puy Kea, the correspondent of Kyodo News Agency of Japan, Pen Bona, the co-editor-in-chief of the Cambodge Soir, a French newspaper, Pierre Gilette, former editor-in-chief of Cambodge Soir, Kong Sothanarith, the chief editor of Khmer Service of Voice of America, American Radio, Ky Sok Lim, senior reporter of Khmer Service of Radio France International, and Ros Sothea, a senior reporter of Angkor Thom magazine.

The training course was ended on 30 January in a closing ceremony in which Pen Samitthy, the CCJ presidents gave the trainees some recommendations for better practices.

As a journalist, you must work for the public and be honest in seeking for the truth. You should not work for any individual or political group. Your mission is to serve the interest of the public, He told the trainees to keep in mind.

Phnom Penh, 08 February 2010