The VOA Khmer Service aired its first radio broadcast on August 15, 1955. In the early days of the service, the broadcasts were dominated by U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. During the Khmer Rouge era in 1975, VOA was present for the darkest days of Cambodian history.
The Khmer Rouge, meaning Red Khmer, was a brutal regime with radical communist ideals, also known as the Communist Party of Kampuchea. The Khmer Rouge party wanted to establish a “Year Zero,” in an attempt to create a classless society. The term “killing fields” was born, known as the sites of death and burial for 1.7 million Cambodians. The Khmer Rouge Takeover occurred on April 17, 1975, destroying the existing regime. The VOA Khmer Service extensively covered the 40th Anniversary of the takeover on April 17, 2015.
The Service is one of the largest Khmer language broadcasters in the world. Broadcasting in Khmer to Cambodia by radio, TV and the Internet, the Service was built on the foundation of reliability established through three decades of broadcasting through war and genocide. VOA Khmer programs provided by the Service serve Cambodians as lifeline to the world and as a trusted source of Khmer-language news and information about the U.S., Asia and Cambodia. The Service offers in-depth reporting and analysis in international politics, human rights, economics, science, health, business and entertainment.
The Service introduced their television video service in 2003, and in 2007 saw the initial steps of transition into digital media. Today, Khmer maintains the No. 1 Facebook page in Cambodia, with over 1,500,000 likes there out of a global fan base over 2,000,000. This page attracts a young audience with engagement and interaction because of its ability to communicate compelling multimedia content through the popular social media platforms. Fans of the Service are able to actively engage with both TV and radio programs through the VOA Khmer Facebook page, including asking live questions and comments for radio call-in shows.
The Service broadcasts 40 minutes per week of TV news, and 20 minutes per week of TV English Learning. Three important TV stations in Cambodia carry VOA Khmer news programming about the U.S., Asia and the world and two of the Service’s English learning programs, including Television Kampuchea (TVK), Cambodian Television Network (CTN), and Cambodian News Channel (CNC). The Khmer Service features ten TV programs, which include; Washington Today on CTN, Cambodian Spotlight and US Business News on CNC.
The Khmer Service provides 90 minutes of daily radio programming to Cambodia and Southeast Asia, delivers news and feature video packages that are broadcast on affiliate TV stations in Cambodia. The Service features 3 radio programs, which accumulate to 10.5 hours per week (AM, SW and FM). More than 18% of Cambodians listen weekly to VOA radio on AM, shortwave and on affiliate FM stations and 8.5% watch VOA weekly on TV. The radio programs include Evening News Hour, Hello VOA and Sunrise News. Evening News Hour is the service’s main radio broadcast, offering 60-minutes of international breaking news and features program that covers the latest developments in the U.S., Asia, Cambodia and the world. This broadcast brings global and regional perspective and analysis that the domestic media neglects. Hello VOA is a 30-minute live call-in talk show, airing Monday and Thursday evenings at 9 p.m., which features guests from NGOs, the government, businesses, universities and the health sector, taking live calls and questions by Facebook and email. Sunrise News is a 30-minute news program covering the latest local, regional, and international developments.
Features and Programs:
VOA TODAY on CNC
SCIENCE on TVK
U.S. Interactive on CTN
Washington Nexus TV Interactives
Washington Today on CTN
US BUSINESS NEWS on CNC
Discovering on TVK
English with Mani & Mori
VOA Khmer’s TV Special English on TVK
Evening News Hour
VOA Khmer Digital Audio, Video, Khmer-Text Mobile/Online content available:
Khmer.voanews.com (In Khmer)
VOAcambodia.com (In English)
Facebook: VOA Khmer
Podcasts: Two audio podcasts available on My Yahoo, iTunes, and from voanews.com