Ruling party eliminates critical media
Alarmed at the prospect of losing the July 2018 general elections after more than 30 years in power, Prime Minister Hun Sen launched a major pre-emptive offensive against the media that devastated the journalistic landscape. Many radio stations and newspapers were banned outright while the staff at other news organisations were “purged”. As a result of this clean sweep, Cambodians now only have access to news provided by major media groups directly linked to Hun Sen, such as the online news agency Fresh News, which pumps out pro-government propaganda. Against this grim backdrop, the creation of the Cambodian Journalists Alliance, or CamboJA, in late 2019 has provided the country’s journalists with small breathing space and represents a limited concession by the government. In 2020, the government nonetheless used the Covid-19 crisis to impose more censorship, blocking news sites, arresting journalists and proclaiming a state of emergency that gave it unprecedented power to censor and spy on the traditional and online media.
144 in 2020
45.46 in 2020