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The American University of Phnom Penh is committed to providing its students with the best possible education, not only inside the classroom but also by exposing them to the real world outside the university campus.
On Friday October 24, the students’ extracurricular education took the form of a field trip to the production facilities and television studios of the Hang Meas (HM) Group. Students toured the facilities, learned about the activities of a modern broadcast company, and had the chance to ask questions about its operations and mission.
Upon their arrival at the HM facility in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district, AUPP students and faculty were greeted by Mr. Eng Chhayngoun, the Chairman and CEO of Hang Meas.
Sitting in a large recording studio, alongside a set many Cambodians would recognize as the backdrop to some well-known music videos, the AUPP group learned about the history of the Hang Meas from the Group’s Senior Marketing and Communication Manager, Mr. Pen Teth Makara. He explained that the group began in 1994 as an entertainment production company, making music CDs and VCDs. It also provided voice-over service and ran two radio stations, both of which remain still broadcast today.
On January 1, 2012 Hang Meas HDTV took to the airwaves, broadcasting in high definition. Mr. Makara explained that Hang Meas HDTV tries to meet international standards, for example in its popular programs The Voice Cambodia and the forthcoming Cambodia’s Got Talent series.
The AUPP students next heard from Mr. Meas Rithy, whose name and face are familiar to anyone who watches Hang Meas weekday evening newscasts. He outlined the mission of HM’s two main divisions, arts and entertainment, and news. Focusing on his own area, news, Mr. Rithy outlined the responsibilities of television news reporters and presenters. He spoke in particular about the importance of covering all sides of news stories, and the fact that HM avoids political issues, especially those that are controversial. The company’s mission, he said, was to serve the interests of the society in which it operates.
Reflecting on the field trip, AUPP sophomore Bun Hong Taing said “It was both fun and educational. From now on, TV programs will remind us of the trip, and make us think of the efforts behind them. I believe it will also make us think the same about other things we take for granted.”
In addition to the visit to Hang Meas, AUPP students have visited Phnom Penh’s main water treatment facility, and also taken a field trip to observe proceedings in Cambodia’s court system. More field trips will take place in the near future.