Criticizing Authority Is Not a ‘Curse’
October 7, 2007, 3:34 am
Filed under: Press Freedom

Opinion

Criticizing Authority Is Not a ‘Curse’

by Moeun Chhean Nariddh

W

e very much appreciate Prime Minister Hun Sen’s advice to journalists not to twist information or “curse” people in their news reports (“PM Urges Journalists To Be Careful With Criticism,” Tuesday, page 17)

        However, we must distinguish between a “curse” and genuine criticism made by the press. In a truly democratic society, when officials assume power they are expected to be scrutinized and criticized by the media and the general public for their abuse of power, bad decisions and other wrongdoings. Therefore, such legitimate criticism, even when harsh, should be tolerated.

As professional journalists, we also have our own code of ethics which encourages reporters to tell the truth and not to use filthy language.

         And in a democracy, we also promote the concept of a free marketplace of ideas where different media and journalists compete with one another to sell their product to readers, listeners and viewers. In this environment, unethical and unprofessional media will eventually see their own demise when the audience does not like or believe what they report.

 

The Cambodia Daily

Thursday, 16 August, 2007

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