Cambodia’s bribe-seeking press corps

Cambodia’s bribe-seeking press corps – Al Jazeera, October 31, 2014
…”An overwhelming majority of local Cambodian journalists get their income from multiple sources, because we don’t get pay from the publisher. But we make money from our news,” said a man who asked to be identified only as “K”, a 40-year-old journalist who spent a decade working for a newspaper which published once a month.
The reporter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was violating commonly accepted journalistic code of ethics, explained how he covered the illegal logging beat in Ratanakkiri and Mondolkiri, remote northeastern provinces that have dozens of registered journalists.
Local villagers would call in tips to K, who would then summon a group of other reporters – ostensibly his competitors – to go into the forests and try to photograph illegal loggers.
The loggers would often pay the gaggle of journalists $30-$50 each to go away and delete their photographs. If this didn’t happen, K would pass the information to his newspaper’s publisher, who would try to extract a bribe himself.
“It’s not extortion, but it’s called ‘tea money’,” he explained…

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