MORE Cambodians have turned to Facebook as their main source of news than television for the first time in Cambodia, Thai PBS quoted Phnom Penh Post Online as saying today.
According to the annual report on mobile phone use in Cambodia released by Asia Foundation and Open Institute on Thursday, 30 percent of Cambodians rely on Facebook and internet as their main source of news compared to 29 percent who said they tuned into TV broadcast, 23 percent from word of mouth and 15 percent from radio.
The trend comes alongside marked increase in smartphone ownership, with 48 percent of Cambodians now owning one this year – more than double just three years ago – and the fact that 76 percent of phones owned are now Khmer script-enabled.
Asia Foundation’s country director Silas Everett said the study showed some really significant trends for Cambodia.
Ou Virak, head of independent think tank Future Forum said the trend was no surprise for the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) which continues to dominate broadcast media. But he predicted the party would still exert considerable pressure on Khmer independent news outlets as their stories reached an ever increasing audience online.
He added that television would become less relevant for news and more of a realm for entertainment.
Top: A Cambodian man reading news on his smartphone. Photo: Phnom Penh Post Online via Thai PBS