- May 12, 2023 6:40 PM
- August 15, 2023 4:05 PM
- September 27, 2022 10:25 AM
PHNOM PENH – Rasmei Kampuchea, one of the oldest news outlets in the country, has stopped operations due to financial issues.
The outlet, which started as a newspaper in 1993, shut down on Dec. 1. In 2020, it cut staffing to 20 people and moved to digital media including Facebook, YouTube and Telegram.
Editor-in-chief Teav Sarakmony said the main reason for the closure was that the company was spending more than it earned.
“So, board of directors said we have no money to run the operation anymore,” he said.
Some employees voiced disappointment on social media as news of the closure was unveiled.
Sarakmony said there were no internal problems and the main one was the budget.
“For employees who voice their concerns privately, I do not know too because the company will deal with benefits under the labor law,” he said.
Some employees who have worked for 30 years since its launch in 1993 have received benefits according to the labor law such as their seniority and retirement.
“This is what we did when we laid off staff in 2020,” he said.
Advertising had been the main source of income and had still been a problem despite the digital format.
For Sarakmony, the closure is disheartening.
“Rasmei Kampuchea is already like two-thirds of my heart because I started working for this newspaper from the beginning with Pen Samithi,” he said. Samithi was the editor-in-chief of Rasmei Kampuchea.
“But what is not sad for me is we are all writers and we have already made an effort to fulfill our profession.”
He spoke of how Rasmei Kampuchea had been transformed when he started working until today in means of communication, information and work equipment and how insecure the working environment was in the past.
“We do this job because we love it. If we don’t love the press, we don’t do it. And that feeling of love remains until today,” he said.
“So, our team continues to work until now which benefits society, and our dedication to the job.”
Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this article was translated by Nhor Sokhoeurn for Cambodianess.