Since its inception over a baker’s dozen crates of finest Black Panther Stout (and three and a half slabs of Klang), CNE has been writing, translating, often badly translating and sharing the latest up-to-date breaking news about Cambodia. And, also, bringing new rules, to English grammar, what fly-by-night ‘qualified’ English teachers like to whinge about.
We’ve literally received several messages asking deep rooted questions such as “Who the f**k are you?” and “Call yourselves professional journalists?”
Well, to answer the latter, no way, Mexican Joseph. The vast majority of articles are shamelessly translated from local media, or just plain stolen. However, the sources are mostly given. Go to one of the Khmer source sites and try using Google Translate. When we write something like “Chinese Worker Crushed by Container” shows up as “Putsu! Chinese Sleeps Under Mattress of Pistachio Sex Worker!” That is what we have to deal with.
Dealing with that is the dedicated new team of staff. In the beginning the shadowy media mogul behind the operation bought a job lot of macaques from a Chinese brain cancer research unit.
Some were relieved of duty after posting incoherent ramblings about ” Rhino looking sexy in coconut Luxembourg curtains. Yes. Two.”
One unfortunate incident came after the original crime features primate typed a time and date incorrectly. Piseth couldn’t handle the critics, and sadly took his life with a lethal cocktail of mangosteen, honey and lime juice. Others couldn’t simply handle the pressure and resigned.
We have since shot them a few Whatsap messages wishing them luck with their new positions in a ‘specialist Asian restaurant’ in Sihanoukville, but have yet to see a reply.
So, much like the Post did after a tax bill, we recruited a whole new team, and it’s a pleasure to introduce them.
The Facebook Staff
Unlike other websites or certain bigshots, CNE refuses to pay Zucker or random Indians to ‘like’ the Facebook page. As said page is open, it allows 2 billion odd plebs with access to a wi-fi connection the opportunity to chip in their ha’penny’s worth.
Whilst most of the comments are either well thought out opinions on the important issues of the day, mixed with a dashing of witty banter, there are always some King Cnut’s who wish to turn the tide into twattery.
To oversee this is Anti-Pedantry Gibbon
A.P. Gee, as he’s known in the office is a straight-outta-Kratie, no nonsense lesser-ape. “I ain’t no monkey” he often whoops “You can’t you see no tail!”, with complete disregard for double negatives.
When he’s not busy holding down the social media feed and pressing the ‘hide/delete/ban’ option, A.P. Gee spends his time swinging from ceiling fans and listening to his Bruce Springsteen LP on an old Sony record deck. Both of which his father stole from a Bangladeshi UNTAC officer in 1992.
Complaints Department Langur
As a mild-mannered vegan, Dave, a grey-shanked duoc langur, is the perfect candidate for customer services, and, as he survives on a diet of leaves supplemented with the occasional berry and twig, is pefectly happy to be an intern forever. Hailing from Kampuchea Krom, he has seen the destruction of his natural habitat and most of his family and friends sold into the pet trade, or as Chinese medicine.
On his days off, Dave cries about being one of the most critically endangered primates on the planet.
First Secretary to the Chief Indochinese Latung
Bob is an Indochinese Latung who graduated in Media Studies from Sheffield Hallam (the 69th best uni in the UK).
Although his grasp of English is above-par, he can only type with one of his dexterous fingers and makes typos when excited about stories involving foreigners and prostitutes, especially the ladyboy types. Due to being raised in a Jarai ethnic community on the Vietnamese border, Bob’s Khmer skills are below average.
As boss of the monkey’s, Bob gets very little free time, but is a big fan of long-running BBC Radio farming drama ‘The Archers’.
Undersecretary Barbary Ape
As an expat Barbary Ape, Paulo is fluent in Spanish, Arabic and the Berber tongue. He managed a 7.2 IELTS score after cheating, and although he speaks English very well, albeit learned from sunburned tourists, his writing efforts sometimes border on the incomprehensible.
He lives on a diet of fish and chips, vodka margaritas, skunk weed and full strength Marlboros.
Environment Slow Loris
Nary is a pygmy slow loris who is passionate about the environment. As a nocturnal creature, she is often forced to drink litres of Amazon coffee to stay awake. She hates illegal logging, plastic and unsustainable development.
In her spare time, Nary enjoys entomology, working on her toxic elbow glands and attempting to channel the spirit of Chut Wutty.
J-Dog (real name Jitatoon Dokrannachan) is a half Thai, half Cambodian northern pig-tailed macaque from Poipet.
As an adolescent monkey scavenging around the border casinos between Aranyaprathet, J-Dog quickly developed a keen eye for criminal activities. J-Dog sniffs out the stories on drugs, violence and foreigners behaving badly.
When he’s not trawling websites for leads, J-Dog enjoys massaging his one-eyed monkey and flinging his own turds at speeding Lexii.
Sophal, the sporting pangolin loves football, Khmer komleng boxing and women’s beach volleyball.
As his scales alone are worth more than the team’s annual salary, he is kept in a secret location to avoid him being trafficked. He’s a nice guy, but has some understandable trust issues.
Thevy the tourism turtle, from Sre Ambil, loves to look over data. She supports sustainable tourism as part of the national economic growth strategy, but as a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints is uncomfortable with all forms of games of chance, explicit hedonism and alcohol.
Thevy is not normally invited to office parties. Instead she stays inside her shell pouring over the latest Xinhua statistics on Angkor Wat visitor numbers.
Daddy Mac, the Kampot macaque keeps the algorithms pumping. As one of the original brain cancer clinic monkeys, he has a higher status than most, which means he is free to flash his genitalia and strop off to go fishing.
The whole site is basically controlled by this ill-mannered simian, so those around him pay him the upmost respect, feeding him bananas along with razor thin slices of mango with a chilli, sugar and salt dip.
In his spare time he likes to swear and play Minecraft.
CG is a big bull with a heart of gold and valuable horns. CNE read scores of stories each day, and it’s CG’s job to decide which ones to keep off the site.
As a rule sexual offences, child deaths and politics are not put up, due to the sensitive nature. CG decides whether something is suitable or should be left as local news for local people.
CG spends his free time trying unsee what the internet has shown him.
The Zoo Keepers
Somnang and Oudom keep control of the CNE menagerie. They prefer to keep their identities a secret.