Cambodia English-language newspaper closed

A local daily English-language newspaper, The Mekong Times, run by foreign publisher was closed on 18 August due to financial crisis. The Mekong Times, one of the country’s three daily English-language newspapers, firstly printed on 8 February this year.

Neth Pheaktra, Cambodian Editor-in-Chief, said the close was not due to quality or competition but run out of money. In the afternoon of 18 August, we were really surprised when the French publisher called off the meeting and said the paper needs to be closed, he said. The paper’s 40 employees, both Cambodians and foreigners, would leave the office after getting their August payment.

Cambodia market for print media is a bit tough as one third of the 14 population is literate and the reading culture is still low.

According to the ministry information’s statistic, there are 472 daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly and quarterly newspapers, magazines and bulletins registered at the Ministry. However, most of them have been closed due to different reasons.

Phnom Penh, 19 August 2008