A WORD OF CONGRATULATIONS AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE CAMEROON MEDIA IN GENERAL AND TO THE PRIVATE PRESS IN PARTICULAR
By Barrister Nico Halle
Mindful of the pivotal role the media plays in the socio- economic and political life of each Nation;
Mindful of the objective,peaceful,professional and patriotic manner in which most media organs have been handling the Anglophone crisis since more than three years albeit with some sporadic flaws;
Mindful of the unfortunate arrival and rapid spread of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic since a few months back with attendant devastating consequences on human life;
Considering that the above challenges only come to compound an already fragile economy that badly needs revamping.
Whereas the Media has been performing it indispensable role under very excruciating conditions owing to want of adequate resources to function;
The National Patron and defender of the Role of an Unfettered Press in Cameroon that I am since more than three decades now, has these few words for the media on the occasion of this great World Press Freedom Day celebration:
Like the former venerated American President, Thomas Jefferson, I consider the media a very important and indispensable development tool for the genuine growth of each Nation.
The Media that is mistakenly considered the fourth estate truly plays the role of the First Estate. The justification is that it educates, informs, entertains and creates meaningful debate for our socio-economic and political emancipation and development.
Hence, it ought to be given all the importance that it deserves.
A thoroughly and properly independent Media is a big asset for each Nation. To be a great asset it’s BUDGET MUST be voted in Parliament each year.
This is what I have advocated for since more than two decades now.
A POOR Media or Press can only produce POOR NEWS. A hungry and shabby journalist can only produce shabby news.
That answers the question why some are vulnerable to crooks who use them for their edification and glory.
The Private Press should be provided with adequate resources to function is my prayer.
If this were to happen journalists would do their job credibly. Flawed and sensational journalism would disappear considerably. True.
Despite this precarious environment some still stand tall against any bribe money etc etc. Kudos to integrity which is for greater than money or riches.
Permit me in a very special way congratulate the Cameroon media in general and the Private Press for their resilience in fighting corruption, embezzlement, bribery, violence, fraud, election rigging, favoritism, graft, hate, bad governance, mudslinging, hypocrisy, falsehood, cover ups, in short moral decadence in all its forms.
I do understand the challenges the media faces other than material resources.
I mean the risks journalists run when they practice their trade.
The recurrence in some caught in cross fire in the case of a violent crisis like in the NOSO crisis is legion.
With the scourge of COVID-19 pandemic journalists are very much exposed to picking up the virus.
It is in this regard that I urge the powers that be to promptly provide adequate resources and means if they must report adequately what is on the ground.
They need complete protection from any form of harm.
While expressing my profound condolences to all those who have lost loved ones in the socio political crisis since its eruption, I am pained to know that a good number of Cameroonians have perished from the COVID-19 pandemic.
My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and I pray God to look down on Cameroonians with pity and protect them.
Otherwise I wish all the media organs in Cameroon to meditate and reflect during this special feast.
Congratulations on your celebration. May God accompany you as you criss cross the space to report news.
To God be the glory and honour.