A 3-day seminar on catalyzing media for peace and justice in Cameroon took place at the Solomon Tandeng Muna Foundation.
The objective of the seminar that held September 03 – 05, 2020 was to guide journalists to understand their role in conflicts and how their reporting could either make or mar the situation.
It was observed that the media can modify a conflict.
The media men and women at the seminar acknowledged that it was timely, given that the anglophone crisis in the country is where it is today partly as a result of media actions.
The various speakers at the seminar presented options for journalists reporting conflicts.
They can either decide to get involved directly in the peace process (Journalism of attachment) or to focus only on reporting what is happening (Journalism of detachment)
Conflict Sensitive Journalism
One of the speakers, Eugene N. Nforngwa of the Africa Knowledge and Policy Center (AKPC) stressed on the need for Journalists to master conflicts very well before reporting, especially the demands and needs of the warring factions as well as their common goals.
“When you master the real needs of a crisis, your approach to report or provide solutions to the crisis would change” he noted.
According to the media for social change specialist, conflict sensitive media men and women should always remember one of the news writing skills, “Show don’t tell”.
Another key speaker at the seminar, Blaise, expantiated on crisis management providing options that the media could report for the interest of the powers that be.
Concerning the anglophone crisis, he examined the management from the government acknowledging and providing reasons for the various actions of the government.
The seminar was organized by DefyHateNow_WCA in collaboration with the Africa Knowledge and Policy Center, AKPC.
Certificates of participation were issued at the end.
Reactions from Participants
The cream of media men and women at the end of the seminar could not hide their feelings.
Amos Muang Nsah of the bilingual daily newspaper, L’ Emergence told News Upfront;
“I am grateful for the seminar, it was indeed really neccesary and enriching”
To Ayang Macdonald of the Cameroon Insider, the seminar was more than his expectations.
“I have been attending workshops/seminars. This is one of the best I have had, in terms of knowledge acquired. Facilitators were simply outstanding. Kudos to the organizers” he told our reporters.
Another Journalist wrote;
“Been a part of this training to me counts as one of my greatest achievements this year 2020, sincerely I am overwhelmed with the quality of trainers….. I really got lots in mind to say about them but at this moment I feel like there’s much they still hold in them to what we had for this 3 days, reasons which I request to be considered /reconsidered to any other upcoming training of the sort.”