Cambodia to penalize 800 journalists for receiving freebies from casinos

Published on: January 3, 2024, 07:14h. 

Last updated on: January 3, 2024, 07:14h.

Cambodia’s Ministry of Information is threatening to sanction 828 “journalists” who it accuses of extorting “rice, water, gasoline,” freebies from a border casino, The Khmer Times reports.

Top Diamond Casino, Cambodia
The Top Diamond Casino in Phnom Den, Takeo Province, Cambodia, claims that over 800 journalists have been asking for comps, and it can no longer sustain its generosity. (Image: Influencer News)

It’s unclear whether the claims against the journalists are genuine or part of the Cambodian government’s ongoing war against press freedom. Reporters are poorly paid in the country and corruption is rife. This can encourage them to get paid directly by the institutions they cover in return for a good writeup.

According to the Cambodian Journalists Alliance (CamboJA), the country’s authoritarian government is intent on muzzling independent media. Meanwhile, English-language newspaper The Khmer Times, the source of the story, is strongly pro-government in its reporting and editorials.

The story was also reported in The Phnom Penh Post, whose takeover in 2018 by a businessman with strong government ties prompted Amnesty International to bemoan “the crumbling of Cambodia’s media freedom.”

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