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The New Women’s Media Center of Cambodia

Recent political changes have given new hope for achieving peace and democracy in Cambodia. Until 1991, Cambodia had never experienced the benefits of an independent educational media. Now, however, radio and television stations have been established to produce public and voter education campaigns.
The development of public interest media was furthered by the Cambodian Women's Committee for Non-violence and the Elections (CWCNVE). They produced radio programs, trained seven women in video production and published various information pamphlets in order to increase the participation of women in the democratic process.
With the success of the Cambodian election and the development of a more open and democratic society, CWCNVE evolved into the Khmer Women's Voice Center (KWVC)in early 1994. KWVC supports women's issues, provides equipment and trains professionals in advocacy, research and media.
After a full year of activities, KWVC's Media Center has decided to become independent and has changed its name to the Women's Media Center of Cambodia (WMC). The Center is staffed by video and radio professionals who produce programs on social issues. It also serves as the focus point for the Women's Media Network, made up of women working in national and grassroots media with the explicit purpose of improving the status of women in media by increasing the number of women journalists and changing the exploitative way that the mainstream Cambodian press portrays women.
The Media Center will include video and radio facilities and house a media resource center with video, radio, print and photo archives. It will be supported by grants from government and non-government foundations.
Building a network of women journalists and developing leadership for the public interest movements is one of the Center's primary goals. The Center will produce public information campaigns, educational materials and public interest features. It will be affiliated to regional sister organizations. In order to foster international links, international internships will be actively sought and trainers will be brought in from around the region.

Media training in Cambodia is still at a very basic level. Our approach is therefore to improve the capacity of Cambodian women journalists in the coming years.


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