Cambodian Journalism Review

Media Ban on TV, Radio Stifles Education
October 25, 2007, 1:42 am
Filed under: Education, Press Freedom


Media Ban on TV, Radio Stifles Education

by Moeun Chhean Nariddh

The banning of radio and TV stations from reading newspaper stories on air not only infringes upon the independence and freedom of the media, but it also hurts the government’s poverty reduction brainchild.

As we all agree, one of the main factors that have plunged Cambodians into generations of poverty is ignorance and a lack education.

Due to the more than two-decade-long upheaval in the country, most people had missed their opportunity to go to school or had only little education.

These illiterate or low educated people have had to perform manual labor in the rice fields based on obsolete methods or in the sweatshop industry where they could hardly make ends meet.

Other young people have been cheated, trafficked and forced to do unpaid jobs or sold into prostitution inside and outside the country, all because they lacked knowledge and information to make better decisions.

Ultimately, they have met a similar fate: being trapped in crude poverty and/or a circle of debt, and plagued with illnesses – if not deaths.

Those who could not get formal education have built their knowledge and skills through news and information they learned from newspapers, magazines, radio and TV.

Since most people cannot afford or have no access to newspapers and magazines or do not know how to read, they rely on radio and TV stations for a wide range of stories and other educational materials from the print media which are not produced by the radio and TV stations.

Newspaper reading on air greatly provides education to these poor people.

Farmers can learn new techniques on how to produce more rice and how to grow more crops. Through the media, they also know what products are in demand at the market.

Young people can learn to avoid being cheated or trafficked when they hear stories told by other victims.

People can also know how to protect themselves from getting sick and why they should take proper treatment. If they know how to stay healthy, they can work and avoid getting poorer.

If the government is really serious with poverty reduction, it should find all possible means to enable people to get educated. If people cannot go to school, let them educate themselves with news and information they obtain from newspapers and magazines via radio and TV.

If the government cannot give people anything, give them any chance to improve their knowledge. Then they will learn how to free themselves from the shackles of poverty.

Moeun Chhean Nariddh

Phnom Penh

The Cambodia Daily

Nov 28, 2005


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