Gov’t asked to tighten media ownership procedure

The Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists, CAMASEJ, Yaounde Chapter has requested the Government to tighten conditions for opening a media outfit, pass a law on easy access to information and decriminalize slander and libel, while losing its grip a little more on the media, believed to be the Fourth Estate of the realm. The appeal was made as they joined journalists the world over to commemorate the 2018 edition of the World Press Freedom Day, Thursday May 3, 2018.
On a tour from Oxford High School to the English High School Yaounde, they streamed in their numbers, encouraging would be journalists grouped in Journalism Clubs of the various institutions. The exercise according to the CAMASEJ Yaounde President, Jude Viban, aimed to
“Inspire, motivate and counsel aspiring journalists already under a canopy of journalism/writing clubs in the schools we visited through an exchange of thoughts with them. We also offered past editions of newspapers to the clubs and promised to come from time to time and mentor them.
“We picked senior colleagues with at least 15 years in the practice to talk with the students. Our lots also fell on Commy Musa, an award winning journalist with 10 years in the profession. Her story was uplifting to the students, especially girls. The enthusiasm and attentiveness of the students gave us the impression that we succeeded.”
According to Viban, the choice of commemorative activities was to break out of the routine of seminars and workshops to mark the WPFD. “Although the Yaoundé chapter of CAMASEJ had gone into hibernation mode in the last five years or so, we thought it convenient and just to refresh it with an activity that stands out. The feedback is positive,” he remarked.
It was equally an opportunity for the seasoned journalists to take questions from the students, clarifying them on what it takes to excel in Journalism in Cameroon and the world. The team promised mentorship opportunities, old newspaper copies among other consignments of media products to the students who were thrilled to meet their radio and television stars in person.
As CAMASEJ Yaounde members joined in commemorating the 25th edition of WPFD under the theme: “keeping power in check: media, justice and the rule of law,” debates are still on, as to whether or not the Cameroonian press is free.
It should be noted that the Non-Governmental Organisation, Reporters Without Borders, ranked Cameroon 129th out of 180 countries on the situation of press freedom worldwide.
The ranking has been quaking debates on the media though some people think the figures are too good to be true.
By Claudia Nsono

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