by Mom Chantara Soleil
Hidden cultural practice of starving the newborn to death whenever the mother has lost her life during the delivery is revealed in the top article for child friendly journalist award initiated by Plan in Cambodia.
“It happened in some remote ethnic communities in the northeastern Ratanakiri province. I hope the article can bring about positive change in the practice,” says 27-year-old Mr. Meas Roth of Sabay online news, the owner of the article.
Plan in partnership with the Club of Cambodian Journalists officially recognised award finalists with best articles on girl’s issues by the close of 2012 in Phnom Penh capital city.
“I fully support Plan and the Club for this child friendly journalist activity to promote media professionalism and coverage of child issues and hope the spirit will last,” Information Minister H.E. Khieu Kanharith addresses to some 100 journalists, youth, government officials and child-focused NGOs in the 3-hour-event.
“As the 4th estate, media plays an indispensible role in joining hands with NGOs like Plan to inform and educate the public at large about different issues faced by children, especially the excluded including girls,” says Mr. Supriyanto, Country Director of Plan Cambodia.
“Not only because they are the most vulnerable group, but also because they are our future,” he adds.
As trademark for Plan, the two-year-old initiative identified ten finalists for 2012: the top five for honorary awards and the rest for complementary ones.
Totally 44 entries survived short-listing interview and got scored by a joint committee of seven youths, representatives from Plan, Unicef, Save the Children, journalism professor and senior journalist practitioner.
Mr. Ngoun Serath of the Club of Cambodian Journalist notices, “It’s helpful that we trained journalists on child rights concept which is a key challenge for them when running article child issues.”
Though her entry is not among the finalists, Ms. Khun Vanda, radio reporter from the Women’s Media Center appreciates the initiative.
“Girl’s voice heard is one thing. Awarding itself is one-off thing. What lasting is practical knowledge we received from comparison of our work and others. Most importantly, we know what to improve,” she shares her insight.
A journalist should not turn a blind eye to unfortunate situation faced by many girls and the way we report it should be independent and accurate, adds Mr. Meas Roth.
Access to finalisted entries and awarding video clip will come shortly