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Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

BY Antonella Napolitano and Rebecca Chao | Tuesday, April 15 2014

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. Read More

WeGov

The Cambodian Government's Social Media Nightmare

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, December 18 2013

Prime Minister of Cambodia, and leader of the CPP, Hun Sen (Wikipedia)

The growing popularity of social media in Cambodia, not as entertainment but as a source for alternative news, is threatening the established government leaders and their state-controlled media narratives. In the national elections this June the opposition pulled in 55 seats to the ruling Cambodian People's Party 68, in large part due to the participation of plugged-in and social media-savvy youths. More recently, the government has had their state-approved media account of a November clash between striking garment workers and police refuted by videos uploaded to the Internet and spread through social media.

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Digital Technology and the Two Cambodias: Have and Have Not

BY Anne Nelson | Wednesday, August 21 2013

The price of dissent (credit: Anne Nelson)

While visitors to Phnom Penh might be impressed by the glass-and-steel towers and the rapid Internet access, the truth is that most Cambodians have no access to electricity, let alone WiFi. What does this mean for the development of this emerging Southeast Asian economy? Read More

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Social Media Drives Youth Involvement in Cambodia's National Elections

BY Faine Greenwood | Wednesday, July 31 2013

Kem Sokha (left) and Sam Rainsy, leaders of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (credit: Faine Greenwood)

A new age in political involvement is evolving in Cambodia. Social media use, particularly Facebook and Youtube, has proven to be the driving force in both youth involvement in politics and rising awareness of the issues, as direct engagement allows citizens to circumvent censored state controlled media outlets. Read More

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Verboice: New Tool for Social Outreach in Cambodia

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, April 18 2013

Phnom Penh, Cambodia (Milei.vencel)

Social outreach organizations including the Women’s Media Centre of Cambodia and Better Factories Cambodia have begun using Verboice to reach communities otherwise cut off by literacy or technological barriers – lack of mobile support of local dialects, for example. It has been used to give women and children on demand health information, to increase access to reproductive and sexual health services, and to monitor working conditions in garment factories.

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Blackouts in Cambodia Spark Online Demands for Explanation

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, March 28 2013

Reports of local blackouts in Phnom Penh on the Urban Voice website. [Screengrab]

As the dry winter season interferes with hydroelectric power production in Cambodia, the capital city of Phnom Penh has been facing rolling, unpredictable blackouts.   Now, an urban mapping platform has taken up a campaign to understand when and where in the city the outages are happening, and to make the government answerable to residents who are living in the dark. 

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As the Internet Raises Civic Voices In Cambodia, a Struggle Brews Over Net Control

BY Faine Greenwood | Wednesday, March 27 2013

Participants at BarCamp Angkor, February 2013 (credit: Faine Greenwood)

Citizen media, spread through the Internet, are becoming increasingly important in Cambodian civil society. But as people begin to make use of the newfound ease with which they can find and spread information, activists worry that the government is preparing a strategy to reinstitute social control. Officials in Cambodia, a relatively liberal state for the region, are eager to court foreign investment. They recognize the utility of the Internet for development and international commerce. And they also appear to see the threat too-free access to information might pose to unchecked government power. Cambodia today is a case study in how government and civil society wrestle for leverage in the Internet-age developing world. Read More

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Cambodia Could Worsen Its Digital Divide By Banning Internet Cafés Near Schools

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, December 21 2012

An order from the Cambodian government to keep students out of Internet cafés could spell inaccessibility for many in a country where few have personal computers. Read More