About The Mirror
Long term readers may remember that, starting in 1997, The Mirror was a weekly publication on paper, providing an overview of the Khmer language press in English translation. It then became available also in the form of PDF files sent by e-mail. In 1998, a Khmer version, Kanhchok Sangkum – A Mirror of Society – was added, going in up to 2000 copies per week into the provinces, where there were hardly any Khmer newspapers. We had to discontinue both publications in 2006/2007, when the Board of Directors of the Open Forum of Cambodia, having oversight at that time, withdrew the financial resources.
In the beginning of 2007, we started to publish The Mirror again, this time on the Internet only, and only in English. The Cambodian Open Institute provided institutional and financial support. The form was now daily published translations, from Monday to Saturday, and a reflective editorial on Sundays. The regularly increasing number of readers were an encouragement to continue with this public service for those who were interested in what we produced. The Flag Counter at the right top of the main page shows where most of the Visitors come from. We are also aware and appreciate that other Internet sites – from Mexico to New Zealand to the USA and others, and of course also in Cambodia – make The Mirror directly accessible to their readers.
With the beginning of September 2010, another phase of The Mirror will start. The goal remains the same: to regularly provide an overview of major dynamics in Cambodian society, and by doing so to facilitate dialogue between different opinions and positions. The Mirror will continue to reflect a wide variety of sources of information, including some from outside of the country, with links to background information. There will be references to events and issues and observations as they come up – but I will not write every day. I also plan to write a reflective editorial every weekend, continuing the present tradition. Thanks to all who have encouraged me in the past for this part of The Mirror. Unfortunately, however, we will no longer be able to publish translations of articles and headlines from the Khmer press – it is beyond our financial means.
Some international visitors have asked, when they came to Phnom Penh, to meet our staff and editorial board – assuming that we were a medium size operation. I had to disappoint them: we were only one part-time paid translator and myself, working as a volunteer. (I have had no payment for work since mid-2006. Indeed, I cover the costs of equipment and the not-so-cheap Internet access in Cambodia personally.)
To speak about finance is not easy – but it is necessary. I express my gratitude towards the three – three – people who have, from January 2007 until August 2010, made a financial contribution through the “Support the Mirror – Make A Donation” facility on the right-top place of The Mirror main page. Since 2007, we saw the readership grow from zero to more than 10,000 visits per month. This was a great encouragement to continue with this public service, but it did not result in financial support. Also, the new layout of The Mirror – from 1.9.2010 – will have an addition: “Ads by Google” will be on The Mirror automatically, with changing content.
Though it is disappointing to have to discontinue the translations, I hope that in one respect The Mirror can expand its scope: more mutual dialogue among readers. Not just “Letters to the editor” which are also welcome, but some more interaction. For this purpose, the graphic layout will also change in September 2010, providing more space on the right-hand column for Comments and Discussions. To edit The Mirror would not have been possible without the responses from our readers – some in the Comments section and others directly. In the future, I hope all of us can be enriched, informed, and motivated, through mutual open sharing.
As ever, please write to The Mirror in the Comments section, or by e-mail directly to me.