Media in Cambodia

The Cambodian media sector is vibrant and largely unregulated. This situation has led to the establishment of numerous radio, television and print media outlets. Many private sector companies have moved into the media sector, which represents a significant change from many years of state-run broadcasting and publishing.[1]

Since emerging from the communist governments of the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnam-backed People's Republic of Kampuchea regime, the Cambodian media sector has become one of Southeast Asia's liveliest and most free, although a lack of professional journalism training and ethics, and intimidation by both government and private interests, limit the Cambodian media's influence.


In 1987, the state controlled print and electronic media and regulated their content. The most authoritative print medium in 1987 was the ruling KPRP's biweekly journal, Pracheachon (The People), which was inaugurated in October 1985 to express the party's stand on domestic and international affairs. Almost as important, however, was the weekly of the KUFNCD, Kampuchea. The principal publication of the armed forces was the weekly Kangtoap Padevoat (Revolutionary Army). During the Vietnamese occupation in 1987, Cambodia had no daily newspaper.[2] Though this situation changed swiftly after the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops and the UNTAC supervised general election in 1993.

Radio and television were under the direction of the Kampuchean Radio and Television Commission, created in 1983. In 1986 there were about 200,000 radio receivers in the country. The Voice of the Kampuchean People (VOKP) radio programs were broadcast in Khmer, Vietnamese, French, English, Lao, and Thai. With Vietnamese assistance, television broadcasting was instituted on a trial basis in December 1983 and then regularly at the end of 1984. As of March 1986, Television Kampuchea (TVK) operated two hours an evening, four days a week in the Phnom Penh area only. There were an estimated 52,000 television sets as of early 1986. In December 1986, Vietnam agreed to train Cambodian television technicians. The following month, the Soviet Union agreed to cooperate with Phnom Penh in the development of electronic media. Cambodian viewers began to receive Soviet television programs after March 1987, through a satellite ground station that the Soviet Union had built in Phnom Penh.[2]

Beginning in 1979, the Heng Samrin regime encouraged people to read official journals and to listen to the radio every day. Widespread illiteracy and a scarcity of both print media and radio receivers, however, meant that few Cambodians could follow the government's suggestion. But even when these media were available, "cadres and combatants" in the armed forces, for example, were more interested in listening to music programs than in reading about "the situation and developments in the country and the world or articles on good models of good people."[2]


Cambodia launched a test television station, its call sign is XUTV, which began broadcasting in 1966. The station was part of state-owned Radio dffusion Nationale Khmere in 1970, operating 12 to 14 hours daily, with advertising as its primary income. Its studios were destroyed by the Khmer Rouge in 1975, halting the role of television during the Khmer Rouge era.

In 1983, the government launched another station, TVK, under the Vietnamese-backed People's Republic of Kampuchea regime. It began broadcasting in color from 1986. There was only one station until the late 1990s, when private companies began to launch their own stations.

All of these stations have local programming, including serials, variety shows and game shows. Thai soap operas (dubbed in Khmer) were extremely popular, until a backlash following the 2003 Phnom Penh riots, after which Thai programs were banned.

Cable television, including UBC programming from Thailand as well as other satellite networks, is also widely available in Cambodia. Many people in Cambodia do not watch Cambodia-produced television, instead applying for UBC from Thailand to view Thai programs. Cambodians living abroad can watch Khmer television content via Thaicom from Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

Most television networks in Cambodia shut down in the evening. Since 2008, the government have allowed TV channels to close at 12.00 a.m. (midnight) and resume at 6.00 a.m..

List of terrestrial television stations

There are 11 TV stations nationwide, including two relay stations with French, Thai and Vietnamese broadcasts, as well as 12 regional low-power stations (as of 2006). They include:


There are Fourteen terrestrial television stations in Cambodia

  • TV3
  • MNBT television
  • Apsara Television (TV11)[4] - Broadcasts each day from 4:30am to 10:00pm.
  • Bayon Television (Channel 27) - Cambodia's only UHF channel. Based in Kandal Province.
  • Cambodian Television Network (CTN); formerly Television Cambodia Network (TCN)
  • MyTV, a TV channel that targets Cambodian teens and youth, also owned by CTN
  • Khmer Television (CTV9)
  • National Television of Cambodia (TVK)
  • Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Television (TV5) - Broadcasts 17.5 hours from 6.00 a.m. to 11.30 p.m.
  • SEATV (South east Asia Television)
  • Hang Meas HDTV - The first HDTV in Cambodia. Broadcasts 24 hours a day.
  • CNC
  • Bayon News TV
  • CTV8

There are also regional relay stations for various channels in Mondulkiri, Preah Vihear, Ratanakiri, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. TVK has the local stations with 2 hours of local programming, from 19:30 to 21:30.

Cable television providers

  • DTV STAR Co., Ltd (TV, Internet, IP Phone)
  • Cambodian Cable Television (CCTV)
  • OneTV (joint venture between Cambodia's Royal Holding's Group and Russia's General Satellite)

Since 2009 the film industry has grown by a 26% rate attracting film companies and directors to film over seas in Cambodia. The M family have slowly been moving in to monopolies the media market.

Cambodian Television in the future

In 2015, Cambodian television is scheduled to switched to Digital Video Broadcasting (Terrestrial) DVB-T at the recommendation of ASEAN. Currently, only One TV, which began offering services in September 2012, is offering DVB-T broadcasting in Cambodia. There are also a couple of entrepreneurs that have plans of bringing more to the television networks associated with MNBT and CTOWN daily.


Cambodia has two AM stations and at least 52 FM stations [3]

List of radio stations

  • Phnom Penh Radio FM 103 MHz
  • Radio
  • Radio Love FM 97.5 MHz - Cambodia's local western pop music radio station.
  • Radio Australia 101.5 FM Phnom Penh & Siem Reap available 24 hours a day
  • BBC World Service Radio FM 100. Broadcasting 24 hours a day. Available in and around Phnom Penh (2007).
  • Apsara Radio FM 97 MHz
  • Family FM 99.5;MHz
  • National Radio Kampuchea (RNK) AM 918 kHz and FM 96
  • Radio Beehive FM 105 MHz
  • Radio FM 90 MHz
  • Radio FM 99 MHz
  • Voice of America(VOA)
  • Radio Free Asia
  • Radio Khmer FM 107 MHz
  • Radio Sweet FM 88 MHz
  • Royal Cambodia Armed Forces Radio FM 98 MHz
  • Women's Radio FM 102 MHz of Women's Media Centre of Cambodia- Using media to promote social change in Cambodian society.
  • Sarika FM 106.5 MHz
  • Radio FM 104.5 MHz (
  • Radio FM 95.7 MHz (


There are more than 100 newspapers in Cambodia, however few maintain regular publication schedules and have paid staff. Many newspapers are run by political parties or individual politicians, so coverage is often slanted. Reporters will sometimes demand payments from their sources to keep unfavorable stories, whether true or not, out of the paper.

However, reporters for the established vernacular dailies and journalists working for wire services and the foreign-language press, generally keep to a standard of ethics.

List of newspapers

National mass-circulation dailies

  • Chakraval Daily
  • Kampuchea Thmei Daily
  • Kampuchea Thnai Nes (Cambodia Today)
  • Kanychok Sangkhum
  • Koh Santepheap (Island of Peace) [5]
  • Moneaksekar Khmer (Khmer Conscience) - Published by the Sam Rainsy Party.
  • Rasmei Kampuchea (Light of Kampuchea) - Cambodia's largest daily, it circulates about 18,000 copies.
  • Samleng Yuvachun (Voice of Khmer Youth)
  • Udomkate Khmer (Khmer Ideal)
  • Wat Phnom Daily
  • "The Messenger" ("អ្នកនាំសារ") Published by the Catholic Social Communications National Office

English-language newspapers

  • Business News
  • CTown daily - entertainment magazine.
  • The Cambodia Daily - Cambodia's first English-language daily with selected Khmer translations.
  • The Mekong Times - English (week) daily paper with Khmer translations. Publication of this paper has ceased temporarily, as advised by email to its subscribers on 19 August 2008.
  • The Mirror - Published by Open Forum of Cambodia, this is a weekly English-language overview of the Khmer-language press. Also publishes a weekly Khmer summary called Kanychok Sangkhum. [6]
  • Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia's oldest English-language paper. Originally fortnightly, it is now daily.

English-language magazines

  • Cambodia Tourism Magazine (CTM) - The only one bi-monthly tourism magazine in both English and Khmer language provides abundant of tourism information, local destination, art and culture, foods and restaurants, accommodations, and other related sectors. [7]
  • Cambodia CityLife Magazine - A Bi-monthly publication is Cambodia's premier guide magazine bring good reading to all those in Phnom Penh and around town. [8]
  • Lady Penh - handy weekly event guide for Phnom Penh (December 201). High circulation. [9]
  • Bayon Pearnik - Mixes humor and satire about current affairs in Cambodia with critical commentary and adventure-travel information. [10]
  • Visitors Guide - Publishes separate guides for [11]
  • Cambodia Pocket Guide - a series of pocket-sized tourist guides that includes articles relating to travel, entertainment, nightlife and so forth. [12]
  • Southeast Asia, which is also distributed in 7 other regional markets.
  • Cambodia, which is also available for free download as pdf.
  • [13]
  • Economics Today - Closed
  • Coastal - a free 6-monthly publication with tourist information about Cambodia's coastal tourist towns. [14]
  • Sports Express is Cambodia's first English Language sports magazine featuring both Cambodian and International sports news, including the Cambodian Basketball League and the Metfone C-League.

French-language newspapers

  • Cambodge Nouveau - Closed
  • Cambodge Soir - Closed

Chinese-language newspapers

  • Cambodia Sin Chew Daily
  • Jian Hua Daily

See also

Cambodia portal


  • Cambodia Cultural Profile

External links

  • Reporters Without Borders
  • Television stations in Cambodia
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