The National Communication Council, NCC, has sanctioned some journalists and print audio-visual media for contravening the deontology of the profession.
The council in press release signed by its president, Peter Esoka, dished out sanctions ranging from 1 to 3 months suspension from practicing as journalists.
The decision which critics have described as another “barking” from the council, was issued on Tuesday August 4, 2020, following the holding of its 27th session last July 30, to examine 5 complaints filed at the council against certain media houses.
In one of the cases against Yaounde based television station, Vision4, the owner, Jean Pierre Amougou Belinga was slammed a month suspension alongside Jean Jacques Ze and Parfait Ayissi Etoa.
They were found guilty of defaming some personalities and stigmatizing certain communities during the broadcast of 3 programmes.
The programme concerned are “Tour d’Horizon” edition of June 25, 2020; “Club d’elites” of July 5, 2020; and its midday news of July 2, 2020.
For defaming the character of Dr Nnang Larissa, Jean Marie Anaba, journalist with Royal FM in Yaounde, was slammed a month suspension.
According to the Peter Esoka-led council, Anaba accused the medical practitioner of complacency with abortion without proves during his programme “Comedie News” on July 20, 2020.
The sledgehammer of the council equally fell on three other print media organs notably; La Meteo, Mutation and Le Soir for related offences.
Michel Tafou was given a 3 months suspension from all journalism related activities after being found guilty in a case pitting business mogul, President Director General of CONGELCAM S.A, Senator Sylvestre Ngouchinghe to the French publication, La Meteo.
The business tycoon, the council said was wrongly accused of implication with fraudulent fiscal and custom operation in the newspaper’s January 10, 2020 edition.
Meanwhile, Le Soir and Mutation were each handed severe warnings for ethical offences.
Vision4 television is reported to have taunted the verdicts of the NCC during its 8PM news on Tuesday August 4, 2020 on Tuesday presented by Jean Jacques Ze.
It has been observed that, this is one amongst many other instances where sanctions on journalists of the television, but are hardly ever respected.
It is the same for other media organs that hardly ever implements the sanctions of the media regulator which critics described as a “toothless bull dog.”
Some media organs which have been suspended by the National Communication Council, NCC, from practising journalism in Cameroon for a period ranging from one to six months, are yet to respect the sanctions.
It was a similar scenario in April 2015 when some print media organs like Le Renard, Cameroon Herald, Climat Social and Vanguard were suspended by the NCC, alongside their Publishers for six months each, for misconduct which constitutes violation of professional ethics in mass communication.
Meanwhile, audiovisual media organs like Royal FM, Afrique Media and LTM were similarly sanctioned but some of these media organs operated as usual.
The sanctions have even generated death threats on members of the Council.
“They threaten me and my family with death and now we are probably calling on people responsible for security in this country that the Council is not safe.” A council member reportedly said.