National Journalist trainingEnhancing the role of the press as a force for social good in society.
Overview of the Program
At a time when news consumers are questioning traditional journalistic notions of balance and objectivity, it seems, in some respects, the expression of a need for balance between the different praxes that characterize the journalistic domain: between the ‘disseminators’, who favor detachment and objectivity, and the ‘interpretivists’, who favor involvement and advocacy (highlighting a struggle in balancing objectivity and advocacy); between the ‘adversarials’, who show a more combative outlook toward government and business, and the ‘populist mobilizers’, who reflect a movement toward civic journalism that emphasizes giving ordinary citizens a voice. When this need for balance is unfolding within a context of social conflict and sensitivities around elections and partisan politics, the journalist may feel a continuous need to recalibrate – how they go about effectively telling their stories, while using journalism as a force for good.
In addition to the methodological concerns mentioned above, the press (and how it is perceived), is shaped by the context and structures within which it operates. Factors such as support for pluralism of opinion, media independence, censorship, the legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information, are critical determinants of the quality and perception of the press in every country. Hence it is critical to understand and acclimatize to this context.
Besides the manner in which a journalist may choose to apply themselves in the given context and structures, it is also important to continuously reflect on theory and practice to improve knowledge and experience, explore new areas of technology and skill-sets and hone new abilities that are needed in the ever-changing environment. Familiarity with the changing legal environment, for example, may save journalists or their agencies costs and credibility, in a climate where expectations of journalistic performance are higher than ever before.
The training anchors on the need to improve the media environment and reinforce the basic values of journalistic fairness, social justice, truth-telling, respect for privacy and the congruence of sources, to eliminate falsehood, innuendo, recklessness and hyperbole, within a delicate social context.
The main goal of the training is to strengthen freedom of expression in Cameroon and enhance the role of the press as a force for social good in society.
Among other things the workshop examines the following themes:
- The Legal Framework on Elections and Freedom of Expression in Cameroon
- Constructive Journalism – the Role of the Peace Journalist in building Stable Societies
- Stakes and challenges of election reporting
- New Voices and Energy – Online Spaces as a tool for Constructive Journalism
- Merging Theory with Practice, cardinal Principles for a journalist (Ensuring journalistic fairness, social justice, truth-telling, respect for privacy and the congruence of sources)
- Freedom of Expression as a key to democratic advancement in Africa
- Corruption in the Media space
- Media and ELECAM
The US Embassy Yaounde and REJE, at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Journalist Training, Yaounde Hotel Mirador
Veteran Journalist Ashu Nyenti, lecturing on Election Reporting #NJT2018
Head of Political Affairs at French Embassy, Yaounde exchanging with participants during #NJT2019
CRTV Senior Journalist, Joe Chebunkeng lecturing on the practice of Professional Journalism in times of crises.
RECORDED SUCCESS OF THE JOURNALIST TRAINING 2019
During the National Journalist Training 2018, we had “Echange Honorable,” during which Members of Parliament (Hon. Komba Gaston, Hon. Njume Peter and Hon. Pangmashi Roland, in a session moderated by Dr. Sakah Bernard, discussed pathways to regulating hate speech and fake news and the spike in ethnic identity hate; highlighting the urgent need to make laws on hate speech and ethnic hate.
Three weeks after this exchange, a bill was tabled to Parliament to criminalize hate speech and ethnic hate. We thank all our MPs for following up on this after the exchange.
Lean more about the bill here