In Cambodia, DW Akademie projects focus on increasing the media literacy of young people.
Freedom of the press and information are limited in Cambodia. Most TV and radio stations are under state control or owned by businesspeople with close ties to the government. In recent years, almost all independent media have had to shut down. Self-censorship is common among journalists, given that critical or investigative reporting can have legal repercussions.
However, digital developments and the Internet offer alternatives for accessing information. Especially young Cambodians use social media platforms such as Facebook to stay informed and exchange ideas. For many, Facebook is now their most important information source.
Within the country's tightly controlled media landscape social media play an important role for communicating and disseminating information. However, especially in the provinces, people often lack important skills for working with social media. Many do not recognize disinformation or are aware of filter bubbles or digital security issues.
In response, DW Akademie and its Cambodian partners are conducting projects to increase media and information literacy (MIL) primarily among the country’s young population. These MIL projects address students and young adults in various ways.
DW Akademie also supports Cambodian media NGOs in creating MIL-related content for traditional and social media. Their MIL videos, articles and programs are tailor-made for teenagers and young adults to enable them to use social media responsibly.
Together with the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM), DW Akademie has trained young Cambodians to become MIL instructors. They now offer weekly media training sessions to students at the Paññāsāstra University in Phnom Penh as well as MIL block seminars for students at two rural universities.
In addition, DW Akademie and its partners are developing an MIL network that aims to connect all Cambodian MIL stakeholders, the local tech community and digital start-ups. This network will forge a Cambodian MIL community as well as increase the project's sustainability and firmly anchor MIL in the country.
Funding sources: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Program Director: Sabina Casagrande
Locations: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang
Focus: Civic participation, media literacy, participation of disadvantaged groups