Cambodia: defending and denouncing KI-Media
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Cambodia: defending and denouncing KI-Media

After my previous column about KI-Media blog, some interesting discussions about it have happened elsewhere on the web. What people weigh in on annonymous blog KI-Media are fascinating. The comments below are not edited and filtered:

Socheata Vong
/> Your article might be the first of its kind for the improvement of this most read blog since its inception. Although I have been a regular viewer, my strong interest in this online outlet has become less and less. I remember reading this site back in the early 2000s with much exposure to sensitive information. Back then, the site was classified according to five levels of reliability and each post was ranked with each level number. Unlike today’s stories which are copied from various sources, KI’s early years had interesting short but critical contents written by their own authors.
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/> I’m glad to see such a critic of this blog. There are possible ways that values could be added to this public domain if they wish to maintain their profile. Their contents are apparently the first of its kind to be critically considered. They should also consider limiting their comments column. It is shameful how people with good written English use horrendous profanity in their comments.

Chivoin Peou, former Fulbright scholar and currently media lecturer at Royal University of Phnom Penh
/>KI-Media is an example of one of the radical forms of social movement media. Though some may point to its offensive and unauthorized contents, ‘journalistic’ editing and selection will destroy its worth and passion for social justice. It’s an example of how social movement, or alternative, medium is used close to its fullest potential — for the passion for social justice. A bad example would be to use the Internet to ‘create’ and ‘disseminate’ information for a subscription fee — ‘standard’ journalism but with critically poor intent and compulsively destructive consequence.
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/>Indeed, the offensive comments at times and the unauthorized contents from other sources should lead to neither condemnation nor demand for ‘journalistic editing’. They must lead us to ask what is wrong with the issues being posted and in Cambodia at large, and what is not so right with the ‘mainstream’ online journalism.

Sophan Seng, former student at University of Hawaii at Manoa
/>I am a regular fan of KI-Media and I am stunned by its uniqueness. Of course, by those opening spaces for anonymous comment and styling of contents that have attracted more people to come.
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/>Otherwise, all those anonymous angry comments (by agitators) are illustrating us something especially about the narrow space of freedom of speech in Cambodia. I think people turned to use anonymous comments in blog because of fear of political reprisal.
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/>Part of the recommendation by Tharum to encouraging KI team to be more professional is good, but I don’t think KI team is lacking ability to be professional, what they are lacking are time and support. As their message told us before, they spent time with KI for free and they don’t have any ad for revenue generating.
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/>However, KI has played an emerging bridge for all Cambodians to debate political, social and economic issues, and it is telling us about the progressive of technology. Cambodians will not be silent anymore because they can come to internet and express their opinions. But my primary concern is how many percent are able to access to internet.
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/>I love the motto of KI saying “truth set us free”…but let see those insulting comments might not set us free…however, I am still one of KI’s fans!

Norbert Klein

I do NOT understand, however, the reason for – potentially – comparing KI-Media with WikiLeaks. Wikileaks is doing a unique job, different in almost any respect from what KI-Media does: content, style, clear procedural and social goals. I think it is a disservice for Wikileaks to be compared to KI-Media.

Phatry Derek Pan, former Hawaii Postgraduate Student

I remember KI Media back in 2005 when their domain was originally khmerintelligence.com. It was a simple layout – no images, no shared button, etc. The news were categorized numerically by “accuracy.” Being an observer of Cambodia’s development, I found the original site to be quite fascinating because of its content which appeared to be a mixture of rumors and facts. I recall a story about the late Prince Naridapong (sp) who KI-Media alludes to be relocated somewhere in Midwest America. I do agree with Tharum that much more could be done by KI to the development of citizen journalism being how popular the site has become in recent years.

Steve Goodman, an expatriate in Phnom Penh
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You can’t blame KI-Media for “comments” that its readers post. It is both unfair and inaccurate to fail to distinguish between the content posted by the “editors” of the site and the entirely user-generated comments that it elicits.
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Thai Sothea, Phnom Penh resident

Ki-media used to be a good source of information but now it is blog where people can just curse and swear. Decided to stop reading it now because I don’t want to endorse the insulting blog. It is good though for some people.

Like it or not, it implies that the site endorses such use of swear. I don’t think the popularity of the site has anything to do with all those insulting comments so why not making it more professional? People call it freedom of expression, but I think (maybe I am among the minority) letting people use your media tool to curse others is unethical. Why does it not do the way newspaper editors do reserving the right to edit out any inappropriate content before publishing comments?