Happy 10th Anniversary, Thmeythmey.com

Thmey Thmey celebrates its 10th anniversary on April 10.

As you know, cambodianess.com was set up by thmeythmey.com, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary on April 10.

This anniversary is the more special to me because the three founders Ky Soklim, Leang Delux and Pen Bona, as well as Ung Chamroeun who currently is editor in chief, came from the editorial team of the French-language daily newspaper Cambodge Soir where I was an editor in chief from 1995 to 2007.     

Having studied at the Département d'Études francophones (Francophone studies department) of the Royal University of Phnom Penh where there was a journalism option at the time, they took their first steps in this field at Cambodge Soir. I am glad to have been able to pass on to them what I knew about the work of journalist and thank them for having helped me know this country, Cambodia, in which I still live 28 years after first coming here. At first colleagues, we became friends and still are today.

All those years ago in the 1990s when many journalists now working at thmeythmey.com or cambodianess.com were not yet born, social media and online news did not exist.

By setting up this site 10 years ago, its founders showed both foresight and audacity.

Foresight because they realized that, in Cambodia as well as everywhere else, the online media would achieve a competitive advantage over traditional means of transmission—written press, radio, television—and forward the news to a truly broad readership without this being costly.  

Audacity because getting involved in producing quality information, that is, information confirmed and balanced in a context in which disinformation abounds, in which one may at any moment be accused of breach of this or that—social order, morality, and so on—requires such standard. Because, unlike those who claim to be journalists and write anonymously in the digital jungle, journalists at thmeythmey.com and cambodianess.com sign their stories and take responsibility personally and of their editors for what they write and is published.

The newsroom teams of Thmeythmey.com and Cambodianess.com include around 50 journalists, fulltime and freelance. Yes, you read it right: 50. Because one does not generate quality information without journalists. And I’m always moved when I see them work whenever I drop by the office. While there is no longer paper as everything is done on computer and posted online, there still is this typical newsroom atmosphere, studious and at the same time restless, which was at Cambodge Soir. Did we get the right information, is the story well written, did we miss a crucial fact?       

One day, Ky Soklim introduced me to the young journalists of the thmeythmey.com newsroom as their grandfather. Upon hearing this, old age had caught up with me. But in fact, I’m proud of having “grandchildren” like them.     

Thank you to the founders of thmeythmey.com for having handed over the flame of Cambodge Soir to a new generation of journalists. And congratulations to all for keeping the flame of journalism burning, without which freedom would fade away.  

Pierre Gillette is former editor in chief of Cambodge Soir

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