Sustaining Community and Media Participation in Promoting Freedom of Expression

Organization(s)

Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM)

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Basic Project Information

CCIM aimed to promote active citizen participation in media broadcasting and citizen awareness of freedom of expression by providing practical training on news reporting and human rights to sixty citizen journalists in northeast Cambodia.

Methodology / Approach

Project Summary

Objectives

Support ethnic and marginalized communities to express their views and raise their concerns on issues related to human rights and freedom of expression through active participation in media broadcasting

  • Increase citizen participation in news reporting by training community members as citizen journalists
  • Increase citizen knowledge of freedom of expression and other human rights

Summary

CCIM’s citizen journalist project trained 60 community members as citizen journalists, capable of reporting on rights abuses in their communities. The project targeted issues related to media access and freedom of expression in rural, marginalized communities in northeastern Cambodia. Citizen journalists were selected on the basis of two main criteria: literacy and level of involvement in the community, and included representation from both women and ethnic minorities. Upon selecting journalists, CCIM conducted three trainings (one in each province) to inform participants of their right to freedom of expression and provide practical knowledge on news reporting and social media. Citizen journalists then worked closely with mentors from the Voice of Democracy (VOD), a subsidiary of CCIM, in order to produce and submit articles on a monthly basis. CCIM also facilitated networking between citizen journalists and professional journalists from national and international new sources in order to help disseminate reports, in addition to sharing them through VOD channels. In total, 22 news articles were submitted, edited, and broadcast on VOD’s stations in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and local radio stations in four other provinces, some of which garnered national media attention and resulted in concrete changes in the target communities.

Use of Information Communication Technology

Yes - Training was provided in the use of social media. Six of the 22 broadcasted news articles were created by the citizen journalists with the help of smartphone ICT technology.

Scale

60 community members trained as citizen journalists (40 percent women and 30 percent ethnic minorities)

Target Population

Ethnic and marginalized communities
Results

Results Methodology

Baseline and endline surveys and focus group discussions of citizen journalists conducted by the project team

Indicators Used

Not available

Reported Results

  • Increased confidence of citizens to report on issues
  • Increased understanding of freedom of expression among citizen journalists
  • Increased number of citizen journalists who self-identified as having participated in freedom of expression
  • Two of 60 citizen journalists now working as freelance journalists for VOD, and 25 citizen journalists still submitting articles on a monthly basis
  • Select reports garnered national media attention – In Preah Vihear Province, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) finally intervened in a land grab case and negotiated an agreement between the community and agribusiness firm
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