Wednesday, October 23, 2019

JOURNALISTS CHALLENGED TO BE OBJECTIVE IN REPORTING



Over 50 Journalists drawn from different parts of Cameroon including those from crisis hit zones have been called to attend the second edition of training with NewSETA;  Network for Solidarity, Empowerment and transformation for All under the theme Mediam Peace and Elections, in Yaounde on October 22nd 2019. A week long training that ends on October 26th, for Journalists to be enlightened and sharpen their skills in reporting.
      The Director of NewSETA,Mr Ateki Caxton and Member of Parliament Mr Enwe Francis

Official Launching and opening of this second phase of training by a Member of Parliament, Enwe Francis, gave room for discussions on Data Journalism and Fact Checking, Ethics of Journalism,Media and Elections, Challenges in Fair Reporting, Digital Security and Big Data and Peace Journalism among other topics and also involved them in some practical modules to help them better understand the scheme of work prepared for the training workshop.
                                             Journalists in training Session In Yaounde
 Media, Peace and Elections are some components that can break a Country apart and Communication in this light can make a country Shine or put it in Darkness.Journalists reporting within a conflict hit zone benefited from the knowledge dished out by Facilitators or experts from diverse experience on the field of communication.

The Director for NewSETA appreciated the interest of Journalists who took part in the training session , who according to him was timely given the social unrest in the English Speaking Regions in Cameroon. He  highlighted that media freedom is vital to striving democracy and the forum is necessary for young persons in the field of journalism to improve on their skills in reporting. 

NewSETA provides a platform to strengthen institutional activities,democracy and Peace  and empowering youths to be more responsible, creative and actively engage in nation building.
According to the veteran Journalist Mr Joe Chebonkeng tells the participants at the training workshop, about the task that lies ahead of professional Journalism and  finds the aspect of Journalism being complicated in recent times with the coming of the social media, where everyone with a smart phone poses for a journalist, a challenge that reporters in recent times are faced with the problem of catch up given the constraints in information or what makes news before publishing an article.
              Mr Joe Chebonkeng, Veteran Journalist with CRTV, Sharing with Journalists

The workshop help Journalists understand the challenges they are faced with and to understand how to manage them. The media standing between the Government and its citizens, without Press there is no country  and living in the Era of information in superhighway, Journalists are charged with informing the public with credible information and provide a platform for Government to communicate the public.

Mr Joe Chebonkeng, the veteran Journalist laid emphasis on the ethics of Journalism and gave more knowledge on the mass media being a strong ingredient in democracy,the media is responsible for regulating some of the excesses of the elected officials in  Government. Encouraging Journalists to be accountable and transparent in their action and to be balanced in their reports. Reminding them of being the 4th initiative power and as such are elites of the different communities they represent.

NewSETA an open society initiative for West Africa, OSIWA, National Endowment for Democracy and an African Movement for Democracy, provide a platform for Journalists across Cameroon to gain knowledge on the dynamics and techniques on reporting especially in Conflict situations. Some Journalists told this blogger how they felt attending the workshop and also shared their expectations.

The Director of NewSETA, Mr Ateki Seta Caxton says it is a youth organization working to build youth and institutional capacities in Cameroon, as well as carrying out informational activities through research and advocacy programs. He talks on the essence of the training for Journalists.  “it is necessary to build the knowledge and the awareness around values and tool needed for them to do their work professionally. The training is important to us because we see a lot of lapses in the profession, where some reporters use words to insight the public negatively, we need the kind of media that is accessible for al, independent, and that can be a force to consolidate Democracy for all”. Mr Caxton said.

Mr Njeck Sylvanus from the South West Region of Cameroon, reporting with CRTV Mount Cameroon FM, is attending a workshop with NewSETA for the first time. “I am expecting a lot given that the seminar is training on Peace, Development and giving knowledge on what will better our Journalism and reporting, makes me expect much and hope to achieve much before the end of the training.”Mr Sylvanus said.

Mr Jerome Essian reporting with Le Jour Newspaper based in Ebolowa, describes the training as being important given the area where he reports in. “its an opportunity for me to build up my capacities as concerns elections coverage which is a very sensitive issue, working in the South most especially who face challenges in doing such reports. I am here to get more knowledge on election reporting techniques. I will like that by the end of the training I will be more professional on the field”. Mr Jerome Essian.
Journalists who are also considered as those who face series of challenges on the field that sometimes influence their reports, receive knowledge from the training to combat the components that might insight the public negatively or escalate a conflict situation.

Ndefru Melanie

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