All Stakeholders in the Media sector have a role to play for a Free Press.
Today, May 3rd, 2020 is observed as World Press Freedom Day on the theme; Journalism Without Fear or Favour.
Fear and favour is common in the practice of journalism nowadays especially in Cameroon.
Journalists are not well paid by their employers, pushing some to shelve Important news stories of public interest and work for personal gains.
The legal framework in the country is not helping things out for Journalists.
According to the National President of CAMASEJ, Viban Jude, about seven (7) Journalists are under detention for one reason or the other.
The precarious situation makes the economy of the nation more instable.
It is to reverse the trend the president of the Cemeroon Association of English Speaking Journalists, CAMASEJ focused his Press Freedom Day address to the Media and Government.
Viban Jude wants the government to make the working environment for Journalists conduisive in the country.
The legal framework should be revised.
Musilation of Journalists, travesty of justice should stop.
Arbitrary arrest and detentions should be discouraged.
Detained media practitioners should be released by the Head of State.
One very disturbing case is that of Buea based TV broadcaster, Samuel Ajiekah Abuwe aka Samuel Wazizi, whose whereabout is yet to be duly established.
Not leaving out Awah Thomas Junior, with health issues at the Yaounde Central Prison in Kondengui.
Access to certain state and official information from the government must be encouraged.
On their part, Journalists must uphold professional ethics and publish only well researched stories.
Media houses must be able to pay for the services of their workers in order to avoid Journalists supporting dubious ideologies to make money.
To Viban Jude, achieving such dispensation warrants an economically stable press which would be able to hold government to account.
“An independent press is essential for justice, for the protection of human rights, as a tool for checks and balance, and in case of our nation, the return of much needed peace” Viban Jude added.
CAMASEJ it should be noted will officially celebrate World Press Freedom Day 2020 on November 2, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, because of the ongoing covid-19 crisis in the country.
The decision was taken on April 28 by the National President of CAMASEJ.
However, activities that do not require the physical presence of Journalists were encouraged.
Today’s WPFD celebration would be marked by the distribution of personal protective materials and sanitary products to media houses in Bamenda, Buea, Douala, Limbe, Kumba and Yaounde.
By Louvier Kindo Tombe