Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lack of sports coverage

I am very miffed at the Phnom Penh Post and their coverage, or lack of, local and national sport. They pack their three pages of daily sport with international sports stories and articles from the newswires, namely AFP, the British newspapers or those from the States. But they fail miserably to cover what I see as important local and national Cambodian sports stories that deserve equal billing, at least, with the worldwide stuff. Take Monday's PPP for example. It displayed stories about Arsenal's current woes, Hong Kong golf and the demise of British rugby, but failed to even give a one-liner to the conclusion of the Cambodia Premier League football championships on Saturday and Sunday. There is absolutely no excuse for this omission. If they had asked me, I would've done them a few lines. Instead they missed an opportunity to highlight a sport which has massive grassroots appeal in Cambodia. To omit details of this national football competition - it deserves a weekly round-up at the absolute minimum - is scandalous in the extreme. The Cambodia football team will be playing in their first Asean football competition finals for years in the Suzuki Cup in Jakata early next month - will the PPP even be aware of it? In any other country, the build-up to this competition would be filling column inches for weeks in advance - but not at the Phnom Penh Post. Then, blow me down with a feather, the PPP today hosted a story that filled the back page about five homeless boys who will compete in the Homeless World Cup in Australia next month, representing Cambodia. A local story I grant you but no-one has ever heard of the Homeless World Cup. PPP get your priorities right please.
I whipped a letter off to them earlier today and their chief subeditor responded in double-quick time. He lamented the lack of a dedicated sports editor (they are searching for one as I type) and agreed that more coverage of local sport is needed, adding that he sincerely hoped for an improvement in the near future. I wholeheartedly agree. The PPP is an important source of news in Cambodia, but that must include the cream of the local and national sport if it is to realise its claim as Cambodia's Newspaper of Record.


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