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Journalists from Northern Cameroon Reinforce Communication for Peace
an article by Ebah Essongue Shabba, Journal du Cameroun

The Club Media West has organized in Garoua a capacity-building workshop for journalists dedicated to communication for peace.


click on photo to enlarge

The journalist has a fundamental role in maintaining social peace in Cameroon. But in a fragile sociopolitical environment, it is important that the communication media are objective and good citizens, otherwise, they could quickly exacerbate latent social tensions, and peace would be seriously threatened. In order to promote and strengthen the culture of peace in the press of Cameroon, the Club Media West (CMW) in partnership with the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) held training workshop on "Challenges of Communication for Peace" in Garoua with men and women of the media from three northern regions (North, Far North and Adamawa). Organizers said it was a challenge for journalists and communicators to capture the importance of citizen communication, so that journalistic productions would not lead to social tensions and uprisings, and to reduce mistakes in the processing of information by journalists.

The one-day workshop was an opportunity for participants to follow the rich presentations on topics related to the issue of democracy, peace as a social construct, and the role of media in promoting democracy. The heated debate that followed the presentations enabled participants to better understand the role of media in communication for peace. The participants from different media took the opportunity to share experiences. Men and women of the media also denounced certain serious errors that can tarnish the image of their profession, including corruption, licentiousness, extortion, laziness, conflicts of interest and lack of professionalism. They advocated the knowledge and respect for the ethical rules governing the profession of journalism in Cameroon. At the end of their work, an action plan was developed by all participants. It provides for the creation of an media observatory within the Network of Journalists of the North (RJN), partnership with the CMW to benefit from their experience, the organization of a monthly forum and the revitalization of RJN.

Following the workshop, Michael Ferdinand, coordinator of the CMW expressed his gratitude to the journalists for their availability. They also promised greater cooperation between the CMW and RJN and expressed the wish to establish in Cameroon a journalism for development. In the same vein, it is also planned to organize study tours in Bakassi and in the northwest where there are social tensions.

(Click here for a French version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Do the mass media give any attention to the culture of peace?, or just to the culture of war?

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Latest reader comment:

The articles from Africa describe good examples, among the rare ones, of media attention to the culture of peace.  Not by accident that it is in Africa.  In fact, the countries of the North have traditionally tried to keep the countries of the South from having their own media.  For some history, see the history of UNESCO's attempt to aid the media of the South.

This report was posted on May 15, 2012.