In an effort to develop a strong culture of access to information, journalists and media professionals must develop an understanding of what the legislation signifies, what their rights are and practice requesting official information. Media acts as a watchdog and pillar of democracy, and must be a strong catalyst in educating the public about what A2I law is; how it can improve the citizens’ lives, and ultimately create public demand. For improved public service and participatory development, journalists must provide the community with the chance to understand the processes of the government through investigative reporting and open up opportunities for dissemination of information about A2I principles and initiatives. Thus, to increase the demand for A2I from the media sector, the Swedish International Development Aid, through UNESCO Phnom Penh, funds a three-years sub-project on Increasing Demand for A2I from the Media Sector to be implemented by the Cambodia Communication Institute (CCI) of the Royal University of Phnom Penh from 2015-2017.
The training to be conducted by the CCI under this sub-project focuses on three basis components: (1) Basic Principles and Concepts on A2I; (2) Investigative Reporting, and (3) Codes of Ethics. These components are very much inter-related and crucial for journalists and media practitioners to make use of the A2I law for the public benefits once the law is passed. While understanding the basic principles and concepts of A2I is important, it is equally necessary for them to be able to understand the core of investigative reporting and codes of ethics and to put what they have learned into real practice through actual information requests. For these reasons, the core principle for conducting this training is praxis-based – a combination of understanding of core concepts and theories followed by actual implementation.