Comunicar Journal Blog

New media and political engagement of opposition party and the citizens in Cambodia

The Medias in Cambodia is apparently changed, especially after this last national election when the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), the most influential party, which ruled this country over the last three decades, lost its seats from 90 to 68 over the total 123 seats in the National Assembly. Also, it pushed to free the innocent political prisoners and forced to imprison the government official who committed crimes, according to Kem Ley, the analysts and researcher.

Cambodia has more than 20 TV channels, 160 radio stations, 380 national newspapers and nearly 40 international newspapers, the statistics of the ministry of information, Cambodia. Its population is around 15 million.

Media in Cambodia are divided into the pro – government, anti – government, independent news agencies and the shadow news companies, says Van Vichar, the former senior news reporter of Radio Free Asia (RFA), the anti – government radio in Cambodia.

Given that most of the mass media are strictly controlled by the government, the opposition party uses Facebook, which recently becomes the most influential media, to voice their political opinion.

The Opposition party created a facebook page called “Sam Rainsy,” the name of the party leader with nearly two million Facebook users, who liked and followed this page.

It is the biggest ever result in historic Cambodia poll since 1993 when the opposition party won nearly half of the total seats in the national assembly.

I believe Cambodian young people are the most active population using facebook to engage in public affairs. More than 6.6 million eligible voters, 3.5 million were between 18 to 30 years old. As resulted, the opposition party got more than 2.9 million votes, whereas the ruling party received a dogfight result of about 3.2 million votes, according to National Election Committee statistic.

The public policy set by opposition party during the election campaign, got more attention from middle – aged voters such as, increasing salary for government officials, creating more jobs for fresh graduates and decreasing oil price, as well. When those policies were reached the voters through any means of social media, they vote for that party in hoping for a better change.

In the article published in Comunicar (2012, vol. 20) titled “Media Literacy and Its Use as a Method to Encourage Civic Engagement” composed by Culver & Jacobson, they revealed that new media education platform is very important to cultivate young people’s citizenship. “All programs used technology as a means to an end, not as the ultimate goal. In each program, students learned about new technologies and how to use them. But this use was always in the service of a broader goal, that of helping the students to become more active civic participants. Students learned how to use a particular technology so they could tell their story about a specific.

In Cambodia, in recent years, new media use among young population has increased dramatically not only for entertainment, but also for easier access to public affairs. However, it’s still a great need of media literacy education. For example, when everybody can use new media to spread information, there is a big possibility that both authentic and fake news can appear.

In the recent election, few days before the election, there was a rumor about the leading party government’s president, saying that he was dead because of disease. Immediately, Cambodian People Party, the ruling party declared it was fake information by showing their leader’s face on the TV screen.

Sam Rainsy’s Cambodian National Rescue Party president claimed that his party won election, “At least, at least 63 seat.” The statement was issued on his Facebook page on the day after the election was completely ended. However, the result was officially declared by the National Election Committee, the ruling party was still the only party which led the government.


Rally welcome for the opposition party leaders during the election campaign. Photo: Leanghort SOK

LIU Jing: Measuring Journalists’ New Media Literacy in the Age of New Media: New Media Literacy Survey in Guangzhou China

This study conducted by a research group from South China Normal University offers a picture of what role the Chinese journalists is playing in the age of new media. The program sought to find out what media literacy levels Chinese journalists are on and investigate how the media literacy of journalists is changing in the age of new media.

Thematic Researchers:

Zhang Xuebo, Professor, South China Normal University, China.

Zhong Xiao, Graduate student, South China Normal University, China.

Today, the power of new media has influenced all aspects of our society, and the digital revolution is transforming everything in the news production. The way how the news is gathered and delivered has gone through several dramatic changes, the line between news producers and news audience starts to blur. Under these circumstances, the concept of media literacy needs to be updated, and producers’ new media literacy has become more vital and more complex than ever in the digital age.

Guangzhou, a southern flourishing city benefited from China’s Reform and Opening Up policy has been selected as the core investigating location for the journalists’ media literacy survey.

The data in the report have been gathered from multiple sources such as questionnaire and dozens of interviews. The number of questionnaire distributed in Guangzhou is 310, among that 302 copies are calculated as the valid questionnaires, the recovery rate is 96.6%, and the effective recovery rate is 97.4%. 124 male journalists and 166 female journalists from Guangzhou have participated in the empirical study. The education level of the journalists is 4.5% of them graduated from junior college, 70% of them are bachelor degree, 24.8% of them are master degree, and 7% of them are doctor degree. The data shows that the level of education is generally high among the group of journalists in Guangzhou, indicating that the adjustment strategy of talent fostering in Guangdong province has yielded great efforts since the last century.

Journalists’ new media literacy is seen to have the proficiency and communication competencies to communicate, respond, and to evaluate correctly within the realm of new media technologies. Here are some encouraging facts we have found in the study survey.


In the past, delivering news to audience in media is the main ability of media literacy for journalists. Since new media are changing how people connect to each other and how news is presented and shared, targeting and interacting with audience have been viewed as important components of journalists’ new media literacy today. The main objectives of the survey mainly focus on the following two points:

Firstly, on the survey questions about the cognition of audience, about 36.2% of the respondents agree that journalists should chase after the issues that most of the audience are interested in, 37.9% of the respondents agree that the presentation form of the news report should be in conformity with audiences’ flavor, and 43.8% of the respondents agree to the statement that reporters should pay attention to the audience’s feedback. It’s a good thing that a majority of journalists are aware of the diversity of our audience and pay attention to the need and feedbacks of audience.

Secondly, in terms of the ability to use new media to gather and spread news, results from the survey indicate that as many as 80.7% of respondents use new media every day, 26.1% of respondents get news and information from Weibo, 29.0% of them obtain information from Wechat, 14.8% of respondents obtain information from blogs, 28.4% of respondents get news from some news apps; 22.8% of respondents obtain information from the audience, 41% from official news channels, and 25.5% from other media channels. There’s no doubt that the ability to handle new media has been a key factor for journalists to promote new media literacy, access to new media has enabled many journalists to accumulate their editions online.

Apart from the encouraging findings we have gained, there are some less favorable findings waiting for the attention. According to the study, there are only 49.7% of respondents do not agree with “reporters can write whatever they are interested in “, only 43.4% of respondents don’t agree with “reporters can writer whatever the audience like “, only 59.7% of respondents do not agree with “the reporter can expose the privacy of others”, only 33.1% of respondents do not agree with “journalists can make up the news reasonably to attract audiences’ attention”.

The results from these answers of the survey were a little bit frustrated since not all the journalists could establish new media literacy and promote independent and fair news. Promoting critical media literacy is essential to deal with millions of messages in the digital age.

All in all, the results of our survey indicate that the majority of journalists are equipped with the essential ability of new media literacy and aware of the importance of new media literacy. However, there are still many journalists who are not familiar with using online media tools and couldn’t meet the need to adapt to the changes. This suggests that more work needs to be done to educate journalists to develop their media literacy. Make media literacy course enter mainstream journalism education is a good way to do.

The changes in journalism are frequently and quickly nowadays, in order to fit into the new media environment, journalists have a greater need for media literacy in the digital age, they have to adapt quickly to the emerging new media paradigm.

Journalists are facing a survive-or-die battle. Fortunately, evidence from the survey shows that journalism is still alive and transforming well in its own way, but only if we continue to focus on the journalists’ new media literacy and educate them in a right way.

Liu Jing

Associate Professor, South China Normal University


Liu Jing: A Research on the Evaluation Index System of Chinese Journalists’ Media Literacy

Tags: China, journalist;media literacy;Evaluation Index System

Media literacy level can be measured through qualitative and quantitative research. In order to properly investigate media literacy ability of Chinese journalists at the age of social media, a scientific and objective evaluation system is very important. For this reason, the research group from South China Normal University tried to construct an evaluation index system of Chinese journalists’ media literacy. The study is presented as follows.

(Thematic authors of this index:

Zhang Xuebo, Professor, South China Normal University, China.

Li Surui, Graduate student, South China Normal University, China.)


Step 1: Design a Questionnaire

The first-level index of journalists’ new media literacy is assumed as five indicators: media cognitions, media emotions, media skills, and media aesthetics and media ethics, and then 19 secondary indicators have been developed. Based on those 5 indicators and 19 secondary indicators, we designed a questionnaire on Chinese Journalist’ media literacy evaluation system, and sent it to university professors of Journalism and Communication in China, media experts by e-mail. The number of questionnaires is 72, receiving a total of 32 questionnaires, and the invalid questionnaire is 0, the questionnaire was 100% effective.

Firstly, the questionnaire scales Cronbach α coefficient (Cronbach Alpha) is 0.744, significantly higher than the 0.7 level. The results indicate that the internal consistency of this scale is an affirmative.

Secondly, the questionnaire validity analysis would be used KMO method. The results indicate that KMO is 0.515, greater than 0.5, indicating that the construct validity of the scale is acceptable. So, we can do the factor analysis. In addition, Bartlett’s test of sphericity is 161.998, df 91, Sig. 0.000, it represent that the groups have a common correlation matrix factors. The results also indicate that the questionnaire is suitable for doing factor analysis

Thirdly, principal component analysis was made to extract relevant factors from the samples. The outputs show that the front five factors was 71.669% cumulative contribution, more than 70%, to explain most of the information index. The extracted five main components establish the original factor loading matrix, and at the same time we delete some incompatible indications. Through the second factor analysis and cluster analysis testing, the results are generally the same as the first factor analysis, The final Media Literacy Evaluation System includes 5 indicators and 13 secondary indicators.

Step 2: Construct the index of Chinese journalist’ media literacy evaluation system

With questionnaires filled by experts to re-assign the various indicators, the researchers constructed the core first-level and second-level index of the media literacy evaluation system. The first-level index have 5 indicators, the second-level index have 13 indicators. The first-level indicators include media emotions, media skills, media selections, media uses and media recognitions. By factor contribution rate and the accumulated contribution rate, we can calculate index weight of each level indicator. The media literacy evaluation index system and weight of journalist in the following table.

First Grade indexes Proportion Secondary indexes Explain of The Index proportion
Media Emotion 30% Media organization cognition The understanding of media organization structure, financial situation, the competition among the various media, the commercial and professional of media organization. 5
Aesthetics Aesthetics is able to master some media aesthetic, to identify and evaluate the standard of beauty, to form the correct aesthetic concept. 4
Expressing beauty media will be presented the reality in the form of aesthetic, in order to reduce significantly media persuade tendency in the process of news communication. 1
Appreciate aesthetic it is to use different skills, language and aesthetic effect in the different media products to analyzed 2
Pass the beauty To know the communication aesthetic in media production process, pay attention to the connotation of news information. 3
Media skill 19% Media creation skills the professional standards and the professional literacy, focus on the concrete operating level 1
Media communication skills with the help of media platform, according to the audience demand, communicate the news timely and effectively, to maximize the communication effect skills. 2
Media selection 18% Media language cognition a kind of cognition of visual language, auditory language and other communication symbols. 2
Media audience cognition an whole judgement about the audiences, like audience psychology, audience preference, audience feedback. 1
Media usage 17% Media usage cognition To obtain information from the media and have the skill which the usage of media, the production technology and process of media product, especially the basic cogniton and use of knowledge in the development of new media. 1
Media information production cognition It is how to product the news information with connotation, reproduce the social reality and passed to the public. 2

Media identification


Media demand intention

It contains the demand for media text, the demand for using different media forms, the demand to adapt the audience’s personalization custom news, after the demand for media, we can find if the journalist have the media contact or not.


Media contact consciousness

It is not only means the contact of traditional editorial business, but also the contact with voice , video and mobile media in all media ear. The media contact in mobile internet era in an important evaluation criterion of journalist media literacy ability.



In the end, we can construct an evaluation index system for journalists’ media literacy abilities in the new media environment, and provide relevant decision-making reference for the education sectors, media agencies, community groups, government decision-making departments. However, the research also has some shortcomings.

  1. This research on the evaluation index system of Chinese journalists’ media literacy only stays in the descriptive level.
  2. To make the data more representatives, the samples need to be enlarged. In addition, the research has only divided two level indexes. In the further research, we may divide more detailed index.

This article is originally composed by Prof. Liu Jing

Associate Professor, South China Normal University