Cameroon: Media and Peace - Journalists Train On Covering Elections

A five-day workshop for participants from all over the country opened in Yaounde on October 22, 2019.

Cameroonians look forward to council, parliamentary and regional elections in 2020. In order to prepare journalists to cover all these polls, especially given the ongoing armed conflicts in the North West, South West and Far North Regions, the charity, the Network for Solidarity, Empowerment and Transformation of All, NewSeta, has organised a week-long workshop for 50 journalists from all over the country. Speaking at the opening of the training in Yaounde on October 22, 2019, NewSeta Executive Director, Ateki Seta Caxton, said the role of journalists in ensuring peaceful and transparent elections cannot be underlooked. On his part, Hon. Enwe Francis, Member of Parliament from Momo Division in the North West Region, noted that communication can either promote or tarnish the image of a nation. He admitted that the practice of journalism has become more delicate with the advent of social media. From October 22-26, 2019, participants will discuss topics such as journalism ethics, the stakes and challenges of fair reporting, electoral cycle reporting, digital security and big data, and regulating hate speech and fake news. Others are regulation of hate speech and disinformation, corruption in the media and possible remedies, investigating corruption in dangerous contexts, and peace journalism. The closing topic will be on assessing the role of the press in consolidating democracy in Cameroon. The workshop is the second of its kind to be organised in recent times by NewSeta. The training is sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy, NED, a US-based nonprofit organisation, and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, OSIWA, which promotes democracy. The workshop aims to explore and improve the role of the media in shaping public opinion in a climate of social crisis and electoral partisanship.

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