Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A rare moan

There's a frontpage story in today's Cambodia Daily about what they term envelope journalism which I must admit is something that has really got my goat since I became aware of it. Essentially, its the practice of paying reporters cash to attend media events. So for example, to get newspaper reporters to watch the football at the weekend and to report on it, the football federation has to pay them. The same goes for television reporters. In fact the federation has to pay the tv stations to show live games - which is completely arse about face of what happens in England for example, where the television companies pay a king's ransom for the pleasure of screening live football. The excuse for this practice is that it's seen as a Cambodian tradition, it's a gift to oil the wheels so to speak, even though essentially it's a form of bribery which is regarded as 'grave professional abuse' under the Press Law. Another excuse is that as the journalists are paid so poorly by their employers, this extra support money helps them make ends meet. That may be the case but the integrity and professionalism of journalism in Cambodia will never move forwards unless these practices cease and the reporters are paid a fair wage for a fair day's work.
Whilst I am in a rare moaning mood, I find it so disappointing that sport in Cambodia's public schools is either non-existent or barely scratches the surface. It's clear to anyone with a brain that providing regular sport and exercise in schools is a winner for all concerned, yet from speaking to many people, they had precisely zero exercise during their schooling days, whether in the city or in a more rural setting. How Cambodia will ever hope to do well on the sporting front if they don't encourage children to get involved and develop an appetite for sport, is beyond me. This should be an essential element of every child's schooling and it should be one of the main goals of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to make sure it happens. Clearly, from speaking to everyone, that is not happening. Rather than just mouth off about it, I hope to be able to do something constructive in the future through Phnom Penh Crown football club. I'll let you know how this pans out.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen a report TVK did? The FFC did mention that the ministry of youth and sports need to implement stronger sport curriculum in school because as much as FFC can in term of grassroots football building, a regular mandatory sport curriculum in school grade 1-12 is necessary to help foster the growth.

I went to public school in Cambodia so I know. There is a curriculum but it is weak and not enforced. You have an exercise day like once a year? lol good thing the diet in Cambodia is good or else we would have lot of overweight kids already.

March 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM  
Anonymous James said...

Well it is chicken and egg situation really for all involved.

If you don't pay on principle then chances are you won't get any coverage.

To a point I think it is understandable to provide some reimbursement or instead some food and drink to the reporters for their time.

Often they get invited to a big business event and have to watch while others stuff their faces.

Sport is a different case but that said the Boxing manages to fund itself very well and TV stations will pay for that.

Maybe the other sports have to market themselves better?

March 10, 2011 at 10:38 AM  

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