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10th anniversary of the Department of Media and Communication (DMC)


The Department of Media and Communication (DMC) established in 2001. Today marks the 10th anniversary of the department, and we celebrated the event at the Cambodiana hotel.

The event was separated into two parts: the conference session in the afternoon and the dinner party in the evening.

In the afternoon event, there is also a debate session on “new media are the most effective platform for social and political participation”. This is the first time in my life that I became one of the debaters in the oppose group.

Please find some photos below from the event:

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By: Dara SaoyuthΒ 
21/10/2011
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My farewell dinner


I am a bit sleepy now, but I come to leave a message that I have a very good time tonight having dinner and hangout with some reporters of the Star publication, where I have spent my two-month internship. It’s not a big party actually; we just went out to have dinner together and chitchatted.

There were six people tonight- 4 reporters, my friend from Cambodia, and I. I like them so much, and I think I am closer to them than the others at the workplace here, maybe because I followed them on assignments more often:)

Last but not least, I’d like to say thanks you to them for coming up with an idea of having a joint dinner before my friend and I go back to my country. I would say that it’s a nice farewell that I haven’t expected. I will see at least 3 of them again soon because they will spend their holiday this year in Cambodia.

Good night and thanks you again Justin, Christina, Karr wei, andΒ Sharmila.

My farewell dinner / by: Dara Saoyuth

01/10/2011
By: Dara Saoyuth

My assignment today_27 Sept 2011


I am back again!

Well, today assignment made me get up so early at 7:30am (maybe early for me only lolz!). I set my phone alarm at 7am, but my fingers faster than my eyes that they reached the phone first and turned it off right away. As soon as I got up, I had to rush because I hadn’t prepared anything from last night since I was so tired and sleepy. First, I put some packs of snack and a full bottle of fresh water into my bag because it’s the lesson I learn from my last year intern place at Agence-France Presse (AFP) that a photographer told me to be ready before going out if we have to go somewhere far away that we never know. “The two important things you have to take with you are ‘food’ and ‘water’,” he told me while handing me two packages of instant noodles.

Besides food and drink, I had to search on my messy table for a camera, a recorder, an earphone, a notebook, 2 pen, and reserved batteries for my recorder. Then, I had to surf on the internet for some information of the place before I left.

Sungai Buloh train station

Sungai Buloh train station / by: Dara Saoyuth

At 8:30am, I arrived the KL Sentral, where I have to take a train to the Sungai Buloh station. At 9:45am, I arrived the Sungai Buloh station, and had to wait for a Cambodian to pick me up. His name is Tar Sovan, and he is a nice, friendly, and helpful guy. He brought me to the Cambodian village and introduced me to some other Cambodian people. Over there, I first sat on a table order Banh Chhev (a kind of Khmer food), and coffee ice with milk. I was so surprised to see everyone around me is Cambodian even the seller of the food I was eating. While I was eating, I also chit-chatted with some Cambodians to know some backgrounds of the village and to listen to their experiences before leaving for Malaysia. They all have very different but interesting stories to tell.

Lok Pu Savan (‘Lok Pu’ means ‘uncle’ in Β Khmer because in Cambodian culture, we always call people who are a bit older than us as ‘uncle’) brought me to a Cambodian market and left me there staying with her wife because he wanted to take some rests at home. I went around the market talking to other Cambodian sellers to know more information, and then back to Lok Pu Savan’s wife because she also sells some staffs in the market.

At Cambodian market in Malaysia

At Cambodian market in Malaysia / By: Dara Saoyuth

I stayed at her store from 11am until around 2pm before going to her house. We just spent time chit-chatting about this and that. She asked me a lot of questions, especially about my experiences working as a journalist and about my life here in Malaysia. I was happy to tell what I know, but I was stuck when came to a question “Do you already have a girlfriend?”. I think for a moment before replying that ‘I don’t have at the moment’. I was also surprised when she joked that she want me to be her son-in-law. πŸ™‚ I supposed that my face turned red at that time, so I used my flexibility to change the topic and move to talk about life in Cambodia.

I left the market for Lok Pu Sovan’s house at around 2pm. His wife asked a girl to give me a lift from the market to her house, but I became a rider after not trusting her to be able to ride motorbike with me at the back. This is my first time to ride a motorbike in Malaysia, and someone shouted from behind that “Please ride on the left hand side! This is not Cambodia!)”. His house just around 5 minutes riding from the market.

Cambodian market in Malaysia

Cambodian market in Malaysia / By: Dara Saoyuth

I have spent the rest of my times at their house, but just to talk with their uncles and aunts and watch TV. I could not interview at that time Β because Lok Pu Sovan wanted to take a nap. His wife also arrived the house later, and I just continued chit-chatting with her.

At around 6:15pm, Lok Pu Sovan said I could stay at his house for tonight or I better go now if I want to come back because it’s almost dark already. His wife also asked me to stay there for a night and back in the morning, but I felt so tired and I had many more tasks to finish that I decided to come back.

I arrived the KL Sentral at 8pm and I had to take a taxi back. This is the first time that I have to bargain the taxi fee. He said the taxi from KL Sentral not uses meter, and he demanded RM20 from KL Sentral to my living place while I spend only RM11 this morning to get there. He said how much will I give him. I decided to give him RM15, so he asked me to go inside the car. πŸ™‚

He’s not a Malaysian. He’s a nice guy and he speak English very fluently. I’ve talked a lot with him, and when I asked him a question about “What do you think about life in Malaysia?”, I seemed to get a satisfied answer. He told me that “Life here is not bad. And I think one thing that is the same for all country, Nothing is free. You have to work for it.” He also asked about Cambodia “IS Cambodia going up now?”, and also ask about Vietname “How about Saigon?”. I think he knows a lot of histories about countries in South East Asia.

Now, I am at my condo again feeling so comfortable but also tired and sleepy. I might sleep early tonight and get up early tomorrow to try finishing works as much as I can.

There are a lot of interesting things happened to me today, but I could not write it all into a post. I hope I could review my post again when I am a bit more free.

27/09/11
By: Dara SaoyuthΒ 

My assignment today_26 Sept 2011


It’s 10:30pm already here, but I just come back from the assignment. Not many cars on the road while the rain were dropping. I know I would be more afraid if I went out for this assignment alone, but luckily, my friend from the same country followed me tonight.

Residents enjoy having dinner

Residents enjoy having dinner / by: Dara Saoyuth

At first, I didn’t have any assignment because I was supposed to finish my feature writing. Then, in the afternoon, my boss reached me and asked if I could go for tonight assignment. Without hesitation, I agree immediately. The assignment is about the Hari Raya Opening House which many people can join and have dinner for free. The assignment started at 8pm, but I have to stay there until the organizer, aΒ parliamentaryΒ member YB Wee Choo Keong, free to give me an interview.

YB Wee Choo Keong giving an interview with TV reporters

YB Wee Choo Keong giving an interview with TV reporters / by: Dara Saoyuth

I was worried at first because everyone talked in Malay that I could not understand at all. I asked my photographer to tell me what they said, but still I could not get the interesting information for my writing. With the help from my photographer (because he could speak Malay), at last, I have chance to interview YB Wee Choo Keong. He’s a nice person and he speaks a very good English. Now, I think I get enough information for the story.

A concert during the event

A concert during the event / by: Dara Saoyuth

Meet a fresh reporter

Because of tonight event, I also met a female reporter from a Chinese newspaper. She’s so nice and helpful, and just started working for four months. She translate for me when people use Bahasa Malaysia language. I’m sure we will be able to maintain this networking.

What for today

Well, I’ve finished my feature writing about Cambodian maids coming to live in Malaysia, and tonight, I will try to finish writing about this event tonight.

I’ve also contacted with a Cambodian student who got scholarship to study in Malaysia. She’s also a nice girl and she’s very helpful. She introduced me to her friends who also studying and working in Malaysia. I’m sure that we will meet each other soon to listen to their experiences and combine that information with what I got from an interview with Cambodian students studying at Limkokwing Malaysia.

What for tomorrow

I have to travel a long distant alone again tomorrow, but as always, I love this kind of travel. I will go to visit Cambodian village in Sungai Buluh, one part of Malaysia. I got a contact from the Cambodian Embassy in Malaysia of a Cambodian who came to live in Malaysia since 1990. He is a nice guy and he said that tomorrow, he will come to pick me up from the train station at 8:30am.

I have to get up early again tomorrow and catch a train at 8am from Kualalumpur to Sungai Buluh station which take around 30 minutes traveling. Then, I will travel with him to the village. He told me that there are around 400 Cambodian families living in that area. I should not say much right now because I want to wait and see the real situation when I arrive that place.

I better end my post here for tonight because there are a lot of things I have to finish.

Thanks you all for reading my posts and come back for more. Without all of your supports and encouragements, I would not have feeling to write these posts.

Good luck and Good night!

26/09/2011
By: Dara SaoyuthΒ 

My Facebook is ACTIVATED again


Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

At last my previous account on Facebook (Dara Saoyuth) is activated again. It’s almost a year already that I cannot access to this account since it was temporary suspended because I confused to use this account on another website that is similar to Facebook (I was cheated!).

Today is a birthday of a person I know and like, but since we have some misunderstanding, my new Facebook account (Saoyuth Dara) that created after the previous one was suspended was removed from her friend list.

I want to send her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY message, but I cannot do via Facebook. The only way I can think of is to try to access my previous account in the hope that she is in the list and that I will be able to post on her wall.

My attempt was failed though I was succeed in restoring my previous account because this account was blocked since before we know each other. Even though I am having a little frustration, I’m happy that I can get my account back and start to connect with people in the friend list again.

As soon as I log into the account, I can see 92 friend requests, 29 messages, and 22 notifications. I think they all might not know that my account was suspended. Now, I can get to them again.

26/09/2011
By: Dara Saoyuth
To be able to restore this account, I was required to enter my “PASSWORD” and then named 5 people from my friend lists so that Facebook can make sure that this is really my account.

I’ve just lost my beloved editor, Colin Meyn – part one


It might be a surprise for LIFT fans to know that our editor, Colin Meyn, has just resigned from his work after finishing his contract with the Phnom Penh Post. However, I’d better not say that he resigned because he told me that he could not renew his contract though he still loves working there.

It’s a bit hard for me to accept this fact because I always appreciate his contribution to LIFT and I’d say that β€œwithout Colin is without LIFT today”. I dare to say that no one else know well about the development and improvement of LIFT magazine besides from Colin Meyn, Tivea Koam, and me because we used to work with each other very closely and conduct plenty of meetings to improve our magazine quality.

LIFT magazine is an educational supplement of the Phnom Penh Post for Cambodian youth. 1st issue of LIFT Β was published on January 6, 2009, and so far, there are 72 issues of LIFT.

This post is written to remind me of good memories I have with my beloved editor, to address his involvement in LIFT, and also my contribution to this magazine. Hope to receive some comments from my dear readers after you guys finish reading this opinion piece…

My involvement Β in LIFT magazine

My editor and I when joining barcamp 2010

My editor and I when joining barcamp 2010

June 2, 2010 is the first time I had chance to have an article published in LIFT magazine, but actually, I have involved in LIFT a bit early than that by joining its’ weekly newsroom meeting.

I can still remember that at that time, I don’t know much about how to write an article so I made a lot of mistakes in writing and Colin edited most of what I’ve sent to him. I was only a normal contributor to LIFT and in some issues, I didn’t even have my name in writers and reporters list. I used to be very disappointed once and a bit envy with some of my friends who had their names published at that time, so I sent a short mail to Colin saying that I will struggle to get my name in the list and you know what his reply is? He said that it’s just my beginning and if I keep holding this commitment, he assured that one day, my name will appear on the list.

From that day, I’ve committed to get byline by working hard, and trying to improve my writing and professionalism. Every single idea I came up, I would raise it to Colin to get some suggestions from him.

If I’m not wrong, about 3 weeks later, I got my name published on LIFT magazine. I was very happy at that time, and I guess this feeling is true for every reporter who has their article published for the first time. Β I bought a copy of it to keep until today and even called to my mum in Kampot province to buy a newspaper because her son’s name was on it.

I keep doing my best for LIFT and as a result, a few months later Tivea and I were promoted to be deputy editors, so we start working to help other writers producing good stories by giving them suggestions to their story angles as well as commenting on their writings.

At that time, I was doing my internship with Agence-France Presse (AFP), so I was very happy since I can use what I’ve learnt from an international news agency to help improving LIFT magazine. I have tried my best to contribute to LIFT and have received a lot of feedbacks from Colin in term of writing, interviewing, and organizing a magazine. I even learn some layout design from him. That’s when I know a lot about complex structures in a newsroom.

Later, Tivea and I start having our name put into senior writers list, so it means that we are eligible to write opinion piece in Constructive Cambodian section. So far, I’ve written two of them: Why traffic jam exists in Cambodia? and Getting passport in Cambodia.

Now, I am still a senior writer for LIFT magazine, but I don’t know what the future is. I believe that some structures will be changed after Colin left; however, I am still happy to contribute what I’ve if they still need me.

Please stay tune because I have two more points to write about: Colin Meyn involvement in developing LIFT magazine + My memories with my beloved editor… I’m thinking of updating this post or create another post for these two points… Thanks for reading my opinion piece...

27/05/2011
By: Dara Saoyuth
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