Cambodian media war claims Mekong Times daily

August 19th, 2008 - 3:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Phnom Penh, Aug 19 (DPA) Cambodia’s mushrooming media outlets and a crisis of advertising revenue has claimed the English-language Mekong Times daily, the paper’s editor said Tuesday.A lack of funds had forced the closure of the hard copy edition but the paper, which also published in Khmer, was still considering options, Editor-in-chief Neth Pheaktra said by telephone.

“We are not sure (about an internet edition) yet - we are not sure what we will do,” he said.

The paper, which opened in February last year, had published groundbreaking stories, including a rare exclusive interview with Prime Minister Hun Sen, but failed to pull advertising revenue away from the more established Cambodia Daily and Phnom Penh Post.

The closure announcement came just days after the Phnom Penh Post went from a fortnightly to a daily.

A cash injection rumoured to amount to around $1 million from an Australian group has buoyed the veteran Phnom Penh Post, and the popular Cambodia Daily claims it operates primarily as a training ground, with profit a secondary consideration.

Cambodia’s Khmer and English-language media market has exploded recently, giving advertisers a much broader range of choices.

Magazines on subjects from specialty computer and mobile phone glossies to interior design advice decorate news stands as the country’s burgeoning middle class spreads its consumer wings.

Short-lived English-language weekly magazine The Advisor closed for “a hiatus” earlier this month, saying advertisers were increasingly embracing the cheaper option of internet websites, and its parent Expat Advisory Services continues to operate online.

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