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Cambodia: New Story Tellers on the Internet

According to a research report released recently by Pew Internet, most webloggers don't consider themselves doing journalism. In most cases they are not up to what a journalist does. In Cambodian blogosphere, there exists a series of interviews done by digital citizens playing the role of citizen's media.

Chan Bopha, a Cambodian woman in Japan, does a self-interview to tell a story about herself. One among many other questions Chan Bopha asks: “did you have boyfriend?” In her response, she lets us know that Cambodian conservation culturally does not allow woman having boyfriend before getting married, unlike people in Europe.

In August, media student Vanndeth spoke to Cambodian native Lim Borey, who currently is pursuing higher education in Malaysia. The interview provides an insight into Borey's life as an outstanding university student. That is something that you cannot find frequently in local newspapers.

Learning from reports that Cambodian young citizens are ignorant tof their own history, in particular about the Khmer Rouge regime that murdered several millions, PR at Forver in Trasit tries to find out the fact through an email interview with a Cambodian young blogger. That said, PR is a Cambodian living in the U.S, and he is using the power of the Internet to interview Kalyan, who is an student in Cambodia speaking fluent English.

There are many reports that said that Cambodian youths are complacent, ignorant of Khmer history (especially the Khmer Rough Era), and too materialistic. Despite all these claims, I find the opposite with the Cambodian youth I meet. I’m often struck by the talent, enthusiasm, hard work, vision, and patriotism Cambodian youths have. Their sense of optimism for a better Cambodia and a better tomorrow are infectious. They display their patriotism and their pride of their culture on their sleeves.

Phil Lees, an Australian national and editor of Cambodian food weblog Phnomenon, posted an account of conversation he had with his counterpart, Mylinh Nakry Danh, who maintains Khmer Krom Recipes site. Phnomenon is the only Cambodian food weblog, and it was recently shorlisted in Best Asian Food Blog at AsiaPundit.

Last but not least, long-time expat weblogger Jinja at ‘webbed feet, web log‘ has more links on the interviews previously conducted with Cambodia webloggers.

2 comments

  • Geert Lovink

    I am sorry, but that was NOT the outcome of the Pew Internet survey. “most” is not right.

    Only a minority of bloggers see any kind of relationship with journalism.

    Here are some of the figures:

    54% of bloggers say that they have never published their writing or media creations anywhere else; 44% say they have published elsewhere.
    54% of bloggers are under the age of 30.
    Women and men have statistical parity in the blogosphere, with women representing 46% of bloggers and men 54%.
    76% of bloggers say a reason they blog is to document their personal experiences and share them with others.
    64% of bloggers say a reason they blog is to share practical knowledge or skills with others.
    When asked to choose one main subject, 37% of bloggers say that the primary topic of their blog is “my life and experiences.”
    Other topics ran distantly behind: 11% of bloggers focus on politics and government; 7% focus on entertainment; 6% focus on sports; 5% focus on general news and current events; 5% focus on business; 4% on technology; 2% on religion, spirituality or faith; and additional smaller groups who focus on a specific hobby, a health problem or illness, or other topics.

  • Sorry, I wasn’t ready yet.

    Only a minority of bloggers see any kind of relationship with journalism. Most blogs focus on personal experiences, and do not focus on the news media in any way. It is a vocal minority of US-American A-list bloggers who constantly misreprent the image of blogging and push blogging into their direction, either left or right, towards the news industry. As a matter of fact, blogs are first of all easy to use software and should be regarded as the next generation of the home page. There is no intrinsic relationship between blogging and news.

    Cheers, Geert

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