User login

Phnom Penh Post Sold

By: EAS Staff Posted: January-01-2006 in
EAS Staff

Months, years of speculation and rumors are over.
The Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia's oldest English - language newspaper, has new owners.

New co-owner Ross Dunkley confirmed the buy to (EAS), but did not speculate on the $500,000 price tag for the paper being touted by local media.

The Post has a long and proud tradition, starting up in 1992 and breaking news stories including former reporter Nate Thayer's exclusive interview with former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot after he was captured by a rival Khmer Rouge faction, as well as news of the former dictator's death, whom the paper accurately wrote was "burned like old rubbish" near his Anlong Veng home.

Stories including a definitive interview with Okhna Teng Bun Ma, the businessman who shot the tires out of an airplane when Royal Air Cambodge reportedly lost his luggage, also spiced up the publication. However in recent years media analysts claimed budget restraints and staff turnover had affected the paper's quality.

The new owners are both Australian businessmen with media interests in Burma and a long history in the region, including the media field.

Ross Dunkley owns Myanmar Consolidated Media and publishes the pro-Burmese government Myanmar Times. Bill Clough is a mining executive. The pair have promised the Post will remain independent and will soon publish weekly but have not answered questions about whether it was a coincidence that they have bought at a time when media magnates from neighboring Vietnam are sniffing around potential Cambodian investments. Cambodia has one of the freest presses in the 10-member Association of South-east Asian Nations.

Post publisher, American Michael Hayes, will stay on as editor-in-chief for another 18 months and has been quoted as saying the continued independence of the paper was a priority in the decision to sell.

The newspaper launched in the halcyon UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia days before the nation's first free elections for decades in 1993 after a 30-year civil war and the Khmer Rouge regime.

Information Minister Khieu Kaharith told EAS he was not worried about the continued independence of the paper as Hayes was remaining for a long handover period.

"Cambodia values a free press, but we also value free investment. This is a free market," the minister said by telephone. He said he did not think the handover would have a great impact on the majority Khmer-language media in the country.

Make a comment about this article here


Whats on! See our help pages - add your own events

This location does not have any events. Why not add one here!