The Cambodia Daily
The Cambodia Daily is the first English daily newspaper of Cambodia. It was founded in 1993 by former Newsweek Japan correspondent, Bernard Krisher. While the circulation number of the paper varies between 5,000 and 8,000 [KAS, 2009] a day, the paper is printed six days a week. With its motto “all news without fear or favour”, the newspaper is 100% foreign owned and known as one of the independent voice of the country. Together with The Phnom Penh Post, The Cambodia Daily maintain critical journalistic reporting. However, as their editions reach only a few thousand readers, their name recognition in the country is correspondingly low [Oldag, 2015].
Besides The Cambodia Daily, Bernard Krisher runs the NGO World Assistance for Cambodia, constructing schools in Cambodia. Some articles of the newspapers cover these activities. The newspaper also accesses both donated and purchased news from major news outlets and wire services such as Reuters, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and has a staff Cambodian and foreign journalists covering local news. A daily section in the Khmer language carries articles translated from the main English-language section. In 2007, it sued Radio Free Asia for copyright infringement. In 2008, as the paper launched The Burma Daily, an insert to cover Burma, the Ministry of Information ordered copies to be confiscated after the government argued it was published without permission and stands to harm relations with Burma.
In 2009, the editor-in-chief and one of the reporter were sued by a member of the Sam Rainsy Party opposition party for defamation over an article about the ongoing trial of one of his lawmaker.
On September 4th 2017, The Cambodia Daily announced its own closure for the first time in 24 years and 15 days in Cambodia. The announcement of cease of operation came one month after document from the General Department of Taxation was leaked online, revealing a massive disputed $6.3 million tax bill, and less than two weeks after PM Hun Sen described the publishers as “thieves” and told them to either pay the tax or “pack up and go”. In its press statement, The Cambodia Daily said the power to tax is the power to destroy, adding that the Cambodian government has destroyed a special and singular part of Cambodia’s free press. The allegations of theft are unfounded and defamatory and the campaign of leaks is unprofessional and unlawful, said the statement.
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Bernhard Krisher - is a former Newsweek correspondent and bureau chief in Japan. In the 1980’s, Krisher became the Tokyo correspondent for Fortune Magazine and created FOCUS magazine under a larger Japanese publishing company.
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The Cambodian media landscape counts at least two new outlets, a TV and a newspaper. Since the former started its daily activity and the latter its broadcasting in 2015, MOM decided not to include as most relevant medium. With less than a year of existence, the audience shares would not be representative of their popularity.
It can be highlighted, however, that their growth is taking place rapidly and their strategy seems more aggressive than the existing media on the market. Both are now hiring journalists and newsroom staffs from existing newsrooms, heightening the competition on both TV and print sectors, which are already highly concentrated.