Twenty Cambodian journalists from six Mekong provinces and Phnom Penh attended a three-day workshop in Kratie province to learn how to better report on the costs and benefits of hydroelectric dams and other development on the Mekong River.
The July 14-16 workshop was the second organized by Mekong Partnership for the Environment partner Cambodia Institute for Media Studies (CIMS), as part of their project connecting and training journalists who report on the environment. The workshop was divided into two part: journalism skills training and a field visit to communities who may be affected by dam construction and management.
The participants spent the first and third day of the workshop with a government EIA specialist and an NGO fishery guest speaker discussing the environmental impacts and EIA safeguard policies. They also learned tips from media trainers – including prominent Cambodian investigative journalists – learning how to write more effective stories on environmental impacts. On the second day, the journalists went on a field visit and met with commune officials and community representatives to discuss the imminent impacts on Mekong dolphins, fish populations and local villagers caused by dam constriction along the Mekong River and its tributaries.
The workshop further discussed the setting up of the Cambodian Environmental Journalists Network (CEJN) with some journalists setting up a Whatsapp group called “EIA Journalists” to share stories and tips. Several stories have been produced based on the workshop and field visits, including a story broadcast by local TV on the dangers caused by dam construction on the threatened Mekong dolphin population and related tourist operators and businesspeople.
The event was part of the Mekong Matters Journalism Network’s efforts to support environmental journalism in the region.
The Mekong Eye is a news portal for Mekong Matters and partners such as CIMS. The Eye features their stories, as well as other environmental journalism and resources from across the region.
This is an outreach announcement from the USAID-funded Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE), a key supporter of The Mekong Eye.
Lead Photo: Journalists interview Sambo Commune Chief about Sambo Dam and potential social and environmental impact to Sambo community and Mekong River, Credit CIMS