Friday, August 8, 2008

Bit of a damp squib

The first edition cover of the new daily Phnom Penh Post
The new eagerly-awaited daily Phnom Penh Post hit the streets today, but it was a bit of a damp squib. I asked the newspaper vendors on Street 51 next to Wat Lanka for the new PPP at 8am this morning and all of them said 'ot mien' (no have), only to hear late in the day that the PPP had been printed and distributed, but to whom? If the news girls on Street 51 didn't have it by 8am, did it arrive at all? These girls do a roaring trade amongst the foreign contingent in BKK1 and the Post's distribution machine had better get its act together and quick; I didn't see a copy until I had dinner at the Red Orchid at 7pm tonight, too late to get myself a first edition souvenir!
I know the Post have been having printing problems and the copy I saw wasn't anywhere near their old standard, choosing instead a far less superior quality paper to print their new edition on. I read through it and it looked 'okay' rather than knocking my socks off, which I was quietly hoping for. There was a lot of international news, though not as much as you see in The Cambodia Daily thank goodness, a business section, 3 pages on the Olympics and very little in the way of breaking stories that I wasn't already aware of. Maybe it was a slow news day yesterday. And of course, it has massive competition with so many foreigners in Cambodia having ready access to the internet, where stories can break every hour, rather than having to wait until breakfast-time the following day. I've no idea about how many copies they need to sell each day to break even, etc but for sure, if they can get the Post to my Street 51 vendor each morning before 8am, they'll have at least 1 regular customer for the next couple of weeks, whilst it beds in. Nearly forgot to mention, it'll be published five times a week, costs 2,500 Riel, is 24 pages in length (the 1st edition also had an 8-page supplement) and its in colour (though the photographs were of poor quality). Link: PPP.


Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

A day after its publication, I managed to get a copy of the new Post from my news vendor of St 51. She probably thought I was a crazy barang buying a newspaper with old news.
I wonder if the printing problems they'd been experiencing - which led to a delay in the new daily edition going live - was to do with the colour saturation on the colour photos because those in the 1st edition were pretty awful.
Lets put it into perspective, the Post will no doubt get much better. Its been around since 1992 in its bi-weekly format and always impressed me with its depth of articles and professionalism. Filling 24 pages every day (5 days a week) is a tough ask but they now have over 100 staff, a bureau in Siem Reap and are ready for the challenge. They also have a regularly-updated website that will carry lots of their content too. I wish them well and will watch the paper's progress with great interest.

Pet Hate: Newsprint on my hands. I used to get it from the newspapers back in England and the choice of paper and print by the new Post means I will have to get used to it again. Unfortunately, its one of my pet hates!

August 9, 2008 8:30 AM  

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