Journalists In Bamenda, Coached to De-escalate Conflict through Reporting

The Media can be a force for positive change, it can as well be manipulated too and it is for this reason that Defyhatenow through it's partner AKPC has developed a project to strengthen Media in Cameroon to prevent Violent conflict, to contribute to Peace and Justice.

The project intends to train 75 journalist from Yaounde, limbe, Douala and Bamenda.

A worskshop organized on 30th and 31st of july 2021 in Bamenda, saw the attendance of 25 journalists from different media organs; Tv, Radio, written press and web Journalists.

Drilled on critical issues surrounding the media, it's role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, as well as equipping Journalists with professional skills to produce and publish content that promotes peace, enhance social cohesion and reduces violent conflict.

Blaise Bebey Abong programmes officer for AKPC says "When Journalist are aware of the impact they have on society they are going to use this conflict sensitive Reporting on everybit".

This was an eye opener to those who didn't master their audience or know who exactly they target through their write ups.

Conflict sensitive Reporting is not a kind of journalism, it's just for the Journalist to be conscious of certian dynamics when they are doing their work and if they are doing their work being aware of these dynamics.

After paying attention to the principles that guard conflict Sensitive Reporting, then it will be obvious the impact is going to be felt in the impression that they make on their readers, in the society and on those who are following them.

That's why #Defyhatenow through the workshop told Journalists in Bamenda that consciously or unconsciously journalism has certain effects or certain consequences on the society, and when the Journalists are aware of this influences weither they are intended or not, it helps to shape their work to achieve good journalism.

"It's realistic that's why we are encouraging Journalists to embark on this way of writing ,this methodology and this approach to Journalism."

Participants felt fufilled, some talked about upgrading their skills in reporting with lots of attention on choice of words.

"The training has enhanced my choice of words in reporting conflict related issues, I will be able to create awareness on the approach journalists should use in reporting, through radio programs."

"Making slots that will serve as a reminder as we make daily efforts in feeding our audience. Spin, signposting, can have a negative impact if not well used and through the Workshop, I have had knowledge on understanding conflicts and how to report in such a way that I will minimize negative impact and maximize positive impact" Kiven Ambrose, Journalist Dream fm Radio.

Eugene Nforngwa, a facilitator capitalized on the fact that Journalists be reminded at each moment, the impact their reporting could have on society before sending it out.

"I think the most important thing that would have made this training worthwhile is if Journalists become more aware of the power they wield and the influences that they have on the conflict."

"To use that information to sharpen their reporting but also change their reporting in a way that remind us of the negative impact that they have on the conflict, we could say at that point that we have succeeded" Eugene Nforngwa.

By Bamenjo Petronilla

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