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The Phnom Penh Post, the pioneering newspaper in Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge era, will cease to appear in print

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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — The Phnom Penh Post, a newspaper founded in 1992 as Cambodia sought to restore stability and democracy after decades of war and unrest, announced Friday that it will cease publication this month This is the latest blow to date. to the country’s declining independent media.

The Post was founded as an English-language biweekly in 1992. It later added a Khmer-language edition and, in 2008, began publishing daily.

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It wrote on its social media accounts that it would stop publishing English and Khmer editions by March 29, citing a drop in advertising revenue due to the pandemic-related economic slowdown, which adds to the difficulties financial caused by the spread of social media and other news. technology.

Although it was not mentioned in the announcement, Ly Tayseng, the Post’s current CEO and publisher, confirmed in a text message to The Associated Press that it would continue publishing online.

Cambodia-Journal

Local newspapers, the Phnom Penh Post, left, and the Khmer Times, right, are for sale at a newsstand on a sidewalk near the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, March 1, 2024 The Phnom Penh Post, a newspaper founded in 1992 as Cambodia sought to restore stability and democracy after decades of war and unrest, announced Friday that it would stop publishing a print edition this month. the latest blow to the country’s declining independent media.

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government severely cracked down on independent media in 2017. The Cambodia Daily, a competitor of the Post, was forced to close its doors after being presented with a huge tax bill that it said was presented to political reasons.

The Post came under similar political pressure as it also lagged behind in advertising revenue, and in 2018 it was sold by its Australian publisher to a Malaysian investor who was widely seen as acting as a proxy for the interests of the Post. Ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Several senior executives resigned and the group ended much of the independent, aggressive reporting that was once its hallmark.

The Post was founded on a shoestring budget by Americans Michael Hayes and Kathleen O’Keefe as Cambodia, with the help of the UN, sought to recover from the devastation wrought by the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in the late The Khmer Rouge still posed a military threat until the late 1990s, and much of the initial media coverage focused on this conflict, with the help of a multinational team and freelancers .

Its journalism flourished, competing with the Cambodia Daily, founded in 1993 and also staffed largely by young Westerners. Both newspapers served as a sort of training ground for young journalists at the start of their careers.

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The Post, which was never very profitable, was sold by its founders to an Australian-led media group in 2008. At that time, all independent media outlets were under increasing pressure as the Prime Minister At the time, Hun Sen and his Cambodian People’s Party were tightening their grip on power and sought to silence most critics. Hun Sen resigned last year after 38 years as prime minister and was replaced by his son, Hun Manet.

Last year, one of Cambodia’s few remaining independent media outlets, Voice of Democracy radio, ceased operations after Hun Sen ordered it closed for allegedly slandering his son in an article.

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