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Attended a lecture by Ralph J. Begleiter


Attended a lecturer by Ralph J. Begleiter

Attended a lecturer by Ralph J. Begleiter / by: Tith Chandara

That’s a great chance for me yesterday to have chance joining a lecture by Ralph Begleiter, director (Center for Political Communication) and former CNN world affairs correspondent.

I have learnt a lot in the  4 hours and a half lecture. The three main topics were being discussed in the lecture are: 1. Media “independence” – what it means/how it works, 2. Is Seeing Believing? – Photo ethics, photo manipulation, and 3. Broadcast News/ Broadcast News Documentary.

This lecture was hosted at the Department of Media and Communication (DMC), and attended by most of DMC students and lecturers.

Below is a short biography of Ralph Begleiter extracted from the website of University of Delaware:

Ralph Begleiter is Director of the Center for Political Communication at the University of Delaware. He brings more than 30 years of broadcast journalism experience to his award-winning instruction in communication, journalism, and political science. During two decades as CNN’s “world affairs correspondent,” Begleiter was the network’s most widely-traveled reporter. He has worked in some 97 countries on all 7 continents. He continues to travel with UD students, and conducting media workshops in several countries under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State. Begleiter teaches undergraduate courses in “Broadcast News,” “History of TV News Documentary,” “Broadcast News Documentary,” “Global Media & International Politics,” and special courses such as a study abroad program in Antarctica and South America in photojournalism and geopolitics (2003, 2005), in Turkey (2008) studying the “Geopolitics of the Mediterranean,” and “Road to the Presidency” during election years. He also directs the university’s “Global Agenda” public speaker program, and in 2006 and 2009 his “Global Agenda” class met weekly by videoconference with students in the Middle East to discuss cross-cultural and media issues. In 2002 he took UD students to Cuba for the 40th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

At CNN during the 1980’s and 1990’s, he covered U.S. diplomacy, interviewed countless world leaders, hosted a global public affairs show, and co-anchored CNN’s “International Hour.” In 1998, Begleiter wrote and anchored a 24-part series on the Cold War. He covered historic events at the end of the 20th century, including virtually every high-level Soviet/Russian-American meeting; the Persian Gulf Crisis in 1990-91; Middle East Peace efforts; and many UN and NATO summit meetings. Since coming to UD, he has hosted the Foreign Policy Association’s annual “Great Decisions” television discussion series, an international affairs program on Public Broadcasting System stations. in 1994,he received the Weintal Prize from Georgetown University’s Graduate School of Foreign Service, one of diplomatic reporting’s highest honors. In 2008, the Delaware Press Association named him “Communicator of Achievement.” In 2009, he earned the University of Delaware’s College of Arts & Sciences “Excellence in Teaching” award.
He holds an Honors B.A. in political science from Brown University, an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University, and is a member of the National Honor Society, Phi Beta Kappa.

07/01/2011
By: Dara Saoyuth
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Invitation to the press conference launch of documentary


To whom it may concern:

Department of Media and Communication of Royal University of Phnom Penh is pleased to invite all the press and related institutions to the press conference on the launching of our students’ production of documentaries titled “Until Now.”

The press conference will be conducted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 9am in the Department of Media and Communication with the honor present of H.E. Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Ministry of Information.

Please find the attached press releases in Khmer and English for more information.

Media Advisory

What:  Release of new video documentary “Until Now: Outgrowing the Shadow of Democratic Kampuchea.”

When:  Wednesday, 22 June 2011, 9:00am

Where:  Department of Media & Communication, RUPP (IFL Campus)

Who:   Filmmakers from the Department of Media & Communication and distinguished panel speakers.

For more information please contact Mr. Dara Saoyuth
Mobile: 012 832 008
Email: dara_saoyuth@yahoo.com

P.S. Please confirm if you can come.

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Young and Married


Everyone seems to agree that Cambodia needs to modernise in one way or another, so why does the institution of marriage often seem to be the exception?

Cambodia is developing, however, early marriage, which means marriage before the age of 18 is still prevalent in the kingdom.

Sambo Manara, a History professor and deputy director of the History department at the Royal University of Phnom Penh says that early marriage is not just something that happens in the present day. He says that  early marriages often happened when there was a need to increase the birth rate, especially during and after war. He gave the example of the post-Khmer Rouge regime period, when a lot of people had lost family members, so they tried to build up their families again by marrying.

Even though there is no more war within the country, 25 percent of women aged 20-24 inCambodiawere married before the age of 18, according to a publication from UNICEF published in 2005. The fear that their husbands might pass away before them is a factor raised by Sambo Manara to answer to the question why there are still couple marriage at young age.

“According to data from World Health Organization in 2009, Cambodian men can live around 58 years, so women think that they have to marriage early; otherwise, their husbands will not have enough time to educate their children, as well as take responsibility in bringing up the family,” said Sambo Manara.

Under the Cambodian Trafficking Law, article 36 says the penalty for anyone convicted of sex with a minor (under 15 years of age) is between five to ten years imprisonment. “From 16 to under 18, they can get married if their parents agree, and if they are over 18, they can marry freely,” says Executive Director of Cambodian Defenders Project Sok Sam Oeun, adding that they can file a complaint to the court if their parents do not allow them to get married once they are over 18.

Even though it is legally possible to get married in your teens, some advocate waiting until you are older.

Khut Khemrin, a doctor and clinical service manager at Marie Stopes International said that most health problems related to early marriage usually concern women. He said “women at the age of 18 years or under18, have organs which are still developing, so it might cause some problems, especially during delivery of a baby if they are pregnant at these ages”.

“One more thing is that Cambodian women, especially those living in countryside don’t have much knowledge regarding reproductive health, so they don’t know how to prevent unwanted baby, and they also don’t know how to take care of their foetus when they pregnant,” said Khut Khemrin.

He suggested that it’s a good idea for young couples to practice birth spacing until they reach the ages of having a safe pregnancy. “They can discuss with each other when they want to get children, so we can introduce them to the variety of ways of contraceptive methods since different methods have different results that can prevent you from having children for 3 years, 5 years or up to 10 years. The choice is yours,” said Khut Khmerin.

Having physical problems is one thing, but another thing is that a couple who marry early can easily break up their relationship or suffer domestic violence.

Chhoun Tray, a vice director at the Department of Psychology at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said that at these ages people cannot control themselves effectively, so they easily get angry. “Sometimes, people are just angry at an everyday word and that can lead to a break up in a relationship,” said Chhoun Tray.

Ek Monosen, a talk show host for Radio FM 102 and vice rector at Human Resources University, said that the best way to prevent break ups of young couples is not to allow them to marry at young ages because then they don’t have much education and are not yet ready to be a father or mother.

However, he suggested that it can be alright for women to marry at these ages and not have problem in relationship if they choose to marry with a man who is older than her because a woman tends to listen and follow what someone older than her says.

But he said the husband should not be older than his wife than nine years because it will be more difficult if the gap is too much. Ek Monosen said that if a woman marries a husband who is more than 20 years older, it’s hard for them to get on with each other because when a wife wants to go to the cinema, a husband wants to go to pagoda.

Another concern a young couple has to think about before getting married is the future of their children. Sambo Manara said that children of young couples are most likely become dysfunctional because their parents don’t have enough capacity to educate them. “If they marry at the age of 15, 16, or 17, they themselves haven’t finished high school, so how can they use their knowledge to teach their children?,” said Sambo Manara.

Ek Monosen said there are four factors that will affect people’s future: family, social situation, education, and personality. He added that a couple will be happy if the above four elements are in harmony.

By: Dara Saoyuth
Additional reporting by: Touch Yin Vannith
This article was published on LIFT, Issue 71 published on May 18, 2011

The 2nd launching of KON Magazine


With the initiative of our professor, Tilman Baumgärtel, and all year III students from the Department of Media and Communcation (DMC), the magazine “KON. The Cinema of Cambodia” was successfully launched again at French Cultural Center (CCF) after its first launching at Meta House on October 15, 2010.

This evening, we screened 12 clips taken from some movies produced during 1960s and 1970s such as Panchapor Tevi and Preah Tenvong, and some contemporary movies like Mother’s Heart and Lost Love.

It was an amazing event to have Dy Saveth, a big star during 1960s and 1970s, join and share her experiences of being an actress during that time.

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By: Dara Saoyuth
15/02/2011

Fund Raising for Poor Children in Takeo


Institute of Foreign Language (IFL) situated in the Royal University Of Phnom Penh campus. IFL organized a charity program today. This fund-raising ceremony started at 8 O’clock in the morning and end at 3 O’clock in the afternoon. The main purpose of this program is to get money for impoverished children in Takeo province.

There are a lot of fun activities and various ways to get money from participants. I can see lots of sellers which mostly are IFL students selling different types of goods counting from eatable things to readable staffs. I also bought a story book as I want to be part of the program.

There are some photos my friends and I took this morning. Let’s see it together! Cheers,

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By: Dara Saoyuth
25/12/2010

KON appears on WEEKEND issue of The Cambodia Daily


An article about the magazine, KON: The Cinema of Cambodia, appears on WEEKEND issue of the Cambodia Daily newspaper issue 665 published on December 11-12, 2010. Though it’s months after the magazine launching, still, I feel happy to see more and more people start to write about it.

Let’s check the original article below:

KON on The Cambodia Daily Newspaper

KON on The Cambodia Daily Newspaper

KON on The Cambodia Daily Newspaper

KON on The Cambodia Daily Newspaper

Dara Saoyuth
13/12/2010

5 Cool things by Dara Saoyuth


Audio books

website for download audio books

website for download audio books

To the more literary among us, it’s a problem that arises constantly during our waking hours. It’s time for you to go to school or finish your chores around the house, but you are in the middle of an amazing book and you just can’t stand to put it down. Now you can relax, letter-loving friends. It’s possible to stay stuck in a book while fulfilling your duties away from the page. Audio books might take a little getting used to, but, after a few listens you will be locked in. You will still have to deal with situations not conducive to continuing your bookish journey, but it will happen less often. My favourite sites for downloading audio books are http://h33t.com and http://www.mininova.org.

Blogging

Blogging

Blogging

How many of you have your own blog? Chances are there will be a lot more of you once the word spreads through 5 cool things. That’s a good thing, since blogs are an awesome way to develop your writing and thinking skills, while making friends and expanding your exposure to people, news and events around the world. You don’t have to be a computer whiz to start a blog. In fact, once you set it up the only thing you really need to know how to do is type. Even my 95-year-old grandmother has a blog. That’s not true, however, it would illustrate how simple blogging can be. From now on, put your ideas online and let other people help you make them better.

Daily planner

Daily planner

Daily planner

What time do to you wake up and go to school? What do you do when you get home? What time do you go to bed? There are an infinite number of questions that you must answer throughout the day and you probably make most of them without much thought or consideration of how to best organise your time. Living a reactionary life might seem like the best path, but when you plan your day before it begins you can be sure not to forget things that tend to slip your mind. The only part of my day that I don’t plan in advance is grabbing my scheduler in the morning to map out the day ahead.

Voice recorder

Voice recorder

Voice recorder

If you are anything like me, you and your computer have a pretty special relationship. Take it to a new level by making use of your computer’s ability to talk with you or, more specifically, to talk like you. Any fairly new computer has a built-in sound recorder and accompanying software that allows you to record your voice, play it back and possibly edit it as well. If your computer doesn’t have a built-in mic you can buy an external microphone or, better yet, a pair of headphones with a microphone attached. Once everything is set up you can use the simple but versatile technology for a bunch of different things. I usually use it to listen to my pronunciation and improve my spoken English. So ditch your outdated tape recorder and make the most of your computer’s capabilities.

Swimming

Swimming

Swimming

I have long been a fan of trips to the sea for a weekend of frolicking by the ocean, swimming, however, has recently been climbing up my list of favourite pastimes in the city. Aquatic exercising has countless benefits for your health and body, but it is also enjoyable, a rare combination as far as workouts go. You can ramp up the fun and hang out poolside with your friends. But I have observed that each person you add to a swimming outing  inevitably leads to a drop in the likelihood you will actually work out. With some exercises you feel sore and strained the next day, but after a couple of weeks swimming you will feel refreshed. The more time you spend in the water the better you will feel. So next time you are hot and bothered, sort yourself out with a swim.

by: Dara Saoyuth
This article was published on Lift, Issue 44 published on November 10, 2010


KON appears on 7D of the Phnom Penh Post newspaper


An article about the magazine, KON: The Cinema of Cambodia, appears on SEVENDAYS (7D) issue 63 published on October 22, 2010. Though it’s a week after the magazine launching, still, I feel happy to see more and more people start to write about it.

Let’s check the original article below:

KON Magazine Cover

KON Magazine Cover

As Cambodian film seeks revival, a new generation takes in its varied past. Students from the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) recently released their magazine KON: The Cinema of Cambodia, a collection of 16 articles spanning the 15-year “Golden Age” of the 1960s-70s, the propaganda films of the Khmer Rouge and the decline of Cambodian film, as well as profiles of notable filmmakers and actors.

At an event at Meta House last Friday that included clips from wide swathe of Cambodian films, Hong Channpheaktra, one of the student designers, said that he was inspired by what he learned from past filmmakers. “We need to be creative, our generation,” he said. “We can do that, too. We have to make [films] as great as the past.”

Tilman Baumgärtel, a visiting professor at the RUPP and supervisor for the project, said that he wanted to give students “something to identify with in a positive way – not always on the Khmer Rouge or poverty”.

Hong Channsopheaktra, who has written for the Post’s youth magazine LIFT, said that he was most taken aback by “the techniques of the producers” of the 1960s and 70s. His favourite film of that period, when about 400 films were made and Phnom Penh boasted 30 cinemas, was Thida Sok Pous (Snake Girl). Dy Saveth, who played the starring role, had to wear a wig made of real snakes in the film. “Once, a snake bit me when I pulled its tail,” she said in a profile of her in KON. “I later found its tooth in my face.”

Baumgärtel, a film scholar by training, said the “ingenuity” of filmmakers of that period in making fantasy films – based often on Khmer folk tales and myths – “with quite limited means was impressive to me”. KON includes details of some of the low-cost techniques of director Ly Bun Yim who created an earthquake, a flying pig, a giant face, and other effects.

But even if it’s not the magazine’s focus, it would be difficult to skip over the Khmer Rouge period, and an article in KON discusses the 78 propaganda documentaries made with Chinese support.

Director Yvon Hem, who directed, among others, the first Cambodian film after the Khmer Rouge, Sror Morl Anthaakal (Shadow of Darkness) in 1987, attended KON’s release. He said he was proud that these young people would replace his generation of filmmakers, and urged them to make films about contemporary Cambodia that would make foreign audiences curious about the country. “That’s success in film,” he said. “Put a question in it.”

KON is available at Monument Books for $1.50.

Written by: Thomas Miller
Published on 7DAYS (Issue 63, October 22, 2010), The Phnom Penh Post

Home away from Home


Cambodian Students who stay in dorm are playing football in front of their building in the evening / Photo by: Koam Tivea

Cambodian Students who stay in dorm are playing football in front of their building in the evening / Photo by: Koam Tivea

You might want that noise to stop while you are studying or that light turned off when you are trying to sleep, but these are just the hassles you have to endure in a dormitory. Although living with a roommate in a dorm – and dealing with the unavoidable annoyances this entails – is a nearly universal experience for university students in many foreign countries, there is also a small group of Cambodian college kids living in close quarters at the Kingdom’s only state-run dormitory for university students.

After a few visits to the dorm, I decided that in order to get a true sense of dorm life, I needed to spend a night there myself. So last week I packed my bag and headed to the six-building dormitory campus on Russian Boulevard – neighbouring the Royal University of Phnom Penh – to get a taste of the parentless life.

In foreign countries, room and board (food and living accommodations), are usually part of tuition fees, but in Cambodia, dorms are free to some students from poor families and remote provinces and are reserved mostly for females (although my experience was mostly with young men for obvious reasons).

Cambodian Students who stay in dorm are playing football in front of their building in the evening / Photo by: Koam Tivea

Cambodian Students who stay in dorm are playing football in front of their building in the evening / Photo by: Koam Tivea

Because of the noticeable lack of adults on the premises, you might expect security to be in short supply. But I felt at ease and well taken care of from the get go, and I witnessed a way of life that you’re not likely to see anywhere else.

The first lessons you are forced to learn are those of acceptance and cooperation. Many of us are used to having our own room and our own space to retreat to when we need some time alone, but you can say goodbye to these comforts as soon as you set down your bags.

San Kimleang, a 23-year-old woman from Kampong Thom province, said she used to be spoiled by her family, but has shed her sense of entitlement over the past three years. “We have to stay with our roommates for four years, so we need to find ways of living peacefully and it is critical to be tolerant of each other,” she said.

It’s easy to snap at siblings and take out your frustrations on family members, she explained, but while living with people outside her family, she often has to bite her tongue when she is angry or fed up with the behaviour of her dorm-mates.

Bou Sophal, who just moved into the dorm last year, knows all too well the challenges of communal living. “Sometimes people cause a disturbance, for example there will be a noise during when we want to study silently or our roommate needs light for studying while we are trying to fall asleep,” he said. “We have to be patient, tolerate and forgive. Today they unintentionally disturb us, but in the future we might do the same.”

While I could certainly understand their difficulties, having enjoyed my own quiet room for the past 20 years, I also saw how much the students cared for each other.

Students who stay in dorm are teaching each other in ther computer room / Photo by: Dara Saoyuth

Students who stay in dorm are teaching each other in ther computer room / Photo by: Dara Saoyuth

Hou Vanthy, 19, said he feels lucky to live in the dorm because his parents, who are farmers with six other children, have little money to spare. As he has become acclimated to Phnom Penh over the past year, he has been able to ask for help from the young men he lives with. “If I don’t have the documents I need, I can ask from them, and I talk with them about their experiences so that I can prepare myself for problems that lie ahead,” he said. “I have never lacked advisers while I’ve been living here.”

I was a bit jealous when I saw a computer room in the building. I have a laptop but, unlike the guys at the dorm, I do not have access to free computer lessons on a regular basis.

More senior members of the dorm, such as Suon Sampheavin, a 22-year-old student in his fifth year of civil engineering studies, said that design programmes like AutoCAD are crucial for engineers, but most students living at the dorm can’t afford the relatively expensive fees of a typical computer class. “I teach AutoCAD on weekends, using what I know, so the other guys don’t have to spend money on classes outside. If I don’t help them, they will face difficulties in the future,” he said.

Students who stay in dorm are teaching each other in ther computer room / Photo by: Dara Saoyuth

Students who stay in dorm are teaching each other in ther computer room / Photo by: Dara Saoyuth

I was happy to see that it wasn’t all work in the dorm. Barring rain, the self-sustaining students set aside some time in the evening to play football and badminton in the space outside of their dorm. Once they have worked up an appetite, they prepare dinner and, in the men’s dorm at least, pile in front of the TV to enjoy their food with the on-screen entertainment.

There is not a complete lack of adults – there is a health officer on site in case of an illness or emergency, and there is also not a complete lack of authority. Four buildings have adult managers, while two dorms have elected student managers to make sure things don’t get out of hand.

Ban Sam, who has been staying in the dorm since 2007, said that as the men’s manager he makes sure that students who enter the dorm follow the rules.

“Hanging around outside late is not allowed,” the 21-year-old said. “Gambling, drinking beer, or using drugs in the building is banned. For the safety of all students, bringing people from outside the dorm without asking for permission is not allowed,” he added, starting to sound like my parents.

This is a room in which Cambodia’s dorm-dwellers usually bring their meal to eat and enjoy watching TV together / Photo by: Koam Tivea

This is a room in which Cambodia’s dorm-dwellers usually bring their meal to eat and enjoy watching TV together / Photo by: Koam Tivea

But just as I was thinking that dorm life signalled a release from chores, it only got worse. “Students have to live with cleanliness and hygiene; for example they have to clean their rooms and take turns cleaning the bathroom and toilet as it is used by everyone.” Ugh! The dorm really was starting to feel like home.

While the stories you hear about foreign dorms might sound more like anarchy than university, it seems that Cambodia’s dorm-dwellers are quite tame. While most of us have a family waiting for us when we finish our classes for the day, these students only have each other, and the way they support each other was nothing short of incredible. I was thankful for the openness and hospitality of my hosts, but happy to head home when I woke up in the morning.

by: Dara Saoyuth
This article was published on Lift, Issue 36, September 15, 2010
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