The Department of Media and Communication (DMC) was established in 2001, under the Royal University of Phnom Penh, primarily as an academic training ground for journalists and communication practitioners. Since its inception, DMC has received funding from Konrad Adenauer Foundation and technical support from German Development Service (DED), German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD), Ohio University, Mittweida University, University of Hamburg, Ateneo de Manila University, and DW. Throughout the years, DMC has evolved from merely a school for undergraduate course in media and communication into a more dynamic institute in terms of teaching and learning, social issues, and research. We have at the moment a balanced mix of international and local educators, are running Cambodia Communication Institute as a journalism training center, and have regularly been organizing workshops for working professionals in such topics as online blogging, community media, journalism for peace and development, and documentary production.
Within eight years, we have produced dozens of graduates, and a considerable number of our graduates are now communication professionals in various organizations including UNDP, PSI and Action Aid; program producers including with BBC World Trust Service and ABC Radio Australia; and journalists for local print media working on subjects ranging from politics to economy, and entertainment to social issues. These individuals have increasingly been involved and in certain instances taken the lead, through their work, in many aspects of Cambodia’s development including, but not limited to, social conditions of the poor and vulnerable, environment, governance and education. Moreover, DMC itself has received an 18-month grant for a research project on the perception and applications of the Internet for knowledge building among students. The research aspect of DMC’s vision does not end here though, while it aims to thrive also as a dynamic research ground in media and social domains.
Through its work and its intellectual offspring, i.e. graduates, DMC has grown more mature and been making impact, though modest, in a number of ways. We envision a more dynamic role DMC will play in the course of national development, a role where DMC could contribute to a sustainable and inclusive development with respect for the basic rights Cambodians are entitled to. With this in mind, DMC’s media and social programs will be a closer step towards contributing to the nation’s development, through its media content production expertise and media research capacity.