Cambodia: media workers threatened not to report from COVID-19 red zone areaEvent
- Initial Date
- May 4, 2021
- Event Description
Cambodia’s Ministry of Information said local and foreign media coverage of the red zone has “confused the public and provoked social chaos that will lead to more COVID-19 spreading.”
“In order to protect social security and prevent COVID-19 from spreading, the Ministry of Information is advising journalists to halt all actions immediately,” it said in a statement issued Tuesday. “In the event that people continue to ignore this notice, [we] will take legal action.”
Ministry spokesman Meas Sophorn told RFA that journalists who went to “red zone” areas and broadcast live via social media made comments without any medical foundation that might risk the spread of the highly contagious virus. He also said that some reporters chased ambulances during live broadcasts.
“If they comply with the law, then they can continue their work,” he said.
Journalist Leng Det said even though he supports the ministry’s order, he wants the media to work with authorities so reporters can provide accurate news.
“In order to get accurate news, we need many sources,” he said. “We don’t have to chase ambulances and police to tell the news.”
Nop Vy, executive director of the Cambodian Journalists Alliance, said preventing the media from covering news in red zones will not be in villagers’ best interest, and he insisted that those who have received training on reporting on the coronavirus pandemic be allowed to cover news freely.
“I am very concerned that the ministry will completely ban journalists [from covering the red zone],” he said. “So far, journalists have broadcast about food shortages and people’s appeals to get food aid into the red zone. This has shown that journalists have contributed to disseminating news.”
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Other (e.g. undefined, organisation, community)
- Intimidation and Threats
- Rights Concerned
- Media freedom
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Media Worker
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On May 4, 2021 an undefined number of media workers were warned and threatened with legal actions by the government not to report from the "red-zone" COVID-19 area in Phnom Penn, Cambodia