Press Release: OPCC to Host “Women in Journalism” roundtable discussion on Thursday 7th March at Cloud (St 9), 7pm

Press Release: OPCC to Host “Women in Journalism” roundtable discussion on Thursday 7th March at Cloud (St 9), 7pm

PHNOM PENH – The Overseas Press Club of Cambodia (OPCC) is proud to host a roundtable discussion this Thursday (March 7) on the subject of “Women in Journalism” ahead of International Women’s Day.

A study carried out last year by the Fojo Media Institute at Linnaeus University, Sweden, found that women are under-represented in newsrooms in Cambodia, especially in management positions, though attitudes are slowly changing. It also found that it was not uncommon for women journalists to face sexual harassment.

“I expect this event can send a message about promoting women’s rights and gender equality. Right now there’s a lack of participation of women in journalism,” says Sineat Yon, a freelance reporter and fixer, and former journalist at the Phnom Penh Post, who will be a speaker at the event.

“There’s not enough opportunity for women because of family responsibilities and because there’s not enough encouragement from the society to enter journalism. I hope this event will change that,” she adds.

A panel of journalists – Cambodian and international – will discuss issues facing women journalists, the state of free speech in Cambodia, and what progress can be made.

“While the number of women journalists has tremendously increased in recent decades, the role they play and coverage assigned to them is an ongoing issue. In some countries, few women cover politics; most of them are assigned ‘social’ issues,” says Michele Vachon, a freelance writer and former features editor at the Cambodia Daily, who will also be a panellist.

“It remains crucial for women journalists to prove to be great, if not better, at their jobs than their male colleagues to make sure it can never be said that a woman was hired ‘because’ she was a woman. Great progress has been made but there is still a long way to go,” she adds.

David Hutt, president of the OPCC, says that the journalist organization is proud to be hosting such an event and is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all journalists.

“Women are an integral part of any newsroom and media outlet, and in the 21st century we shouldn’t have to be having such debates about equal participation and inclusion. Unfortunately, the reality is that discussions like this are just as necessary as ever.”

Participants in the event on Thursday evening include:

Moderator: Kounila Keo, a former reporter for the Agence France Presse who today blogs about social issues, the Internet and travel in Cambodia, and a managing director for a Southeast Asia-based PR agency.

Chansophea Ung, a journalist and news producer at channels CNC and CTN.

Sineat Yon, a freelance reporter and fixer, and former journalist at the Phnom Penh Post.

Eléonore Sok, a correspondent for French publications and radio in Cambodia.

Michelle Vachon, a freelance researcher and writer who used to work as feature editor of the Cambodia Daily before it was closed in 2017.

Leonie Kijewski, a freelancer in Cambodia and previously a reporter and sub-editor at the Phnom Penh Post.

The event will be held at Cloud (Ke Nou Street/Street 9, near Bassac Lane) and will start at 7.30pm. Entrance is free and guests are invited to arrive at 7pm for pre-event drinks.

David Hutt, President of the OPCC,

The Overseas Press Club of Cambodia is a non-profit organization that aims to promote the professional interests of foreign correspondents and journalists who work in Cambodia. It also fosters debate about issues that affect the country.

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