By Veronica Qingqing Xia
SIEM REAP, Cambodia — As Cambodians increasingly turn to smartphones to access the Internet, newspapers in the country are stepping up their digital presence.
“Digital has become incredibly important not just in the West, not just in Hong Kong, but even in third world countries, like Cambodia, where a majority of the population skipped the web generation and went straight to mobile,” Joshua Wilwohl, online editor of The Cambodia Daily, said.
The Cambodia Daily, one of two English-language newspapers based in the capital Phnom Penh, started in 1993 with a circulation of 5,000. In 2012, it launched its first website and readership doubled. Now, its strategy is mobile first.
The Daily makes money through advertisements and a limited paywall. But considering that many Cambodians do not have credit cards, the paper also offers payment alternatives such as bitcoin and PayPal.
Neou Vannarin, political editor of The Cambodia Daily, says he has a habit of walking every corner of the city with his camera, which he finds useful in covering news with a multimedia perspective.
The other English-language newspaper in Cambodia, The Phnom Penh Post, also has a web edition, utilizes social media and recently created a video team.