Cameroon: journalists and young people combatting disinformation

Cameroon: journalists and young people combatting disinformation

In Dschang, Bafoussam, Limbé, Garoua and Yaoundé, young Cameroonians and the media involved in the Talk Peace project share the same resolve: to promote peace and national reconciliation. Since May 2022, the CFI has been supporting their commitment by offering them various training courses and workshops to combat disinformation in a tense security climate. Two years on, it is time to take stock.

Talk Peace, a project to combat disinformation in Cameroon

The Talk Peace project was launched in response to the challenges faced by journalists in hot spots, notably Cameroon's far north, which has been affected by Boko Haram incursions, and the English-speaking regions of the north- and south-west. Implemented by CFI in partnership with ADISI Cameroun and the Fondation Conseil Jeune, Talk Peace aimed first and foremost to strengthen the role of young people and civil society in combatting disinformation and hate speech.
Secondly, the project aimed to improve the media's capacity to produce verified and inclusive information.

The project ran for two years, from May 2022 to April 2024, in various towns in Cameroon: Dschang, Bafoussam, Limbe, Garoua and Yaoundé. It had several components:
Training to enhance the skills of mainstream journalists
Creating interactive programmes to promote social dialogue
Meetings between peers, and with members of civil society and the local authorities
Workshops for young citizens active on the Internet or involved in voluntary organisations

Journalism workshop in Yaoundé ©DR

The result: the production of reliable and inclusive information has been strengthened

The external evaluation of the project was unveiled on 24 April 2024, in Yaoundé, at a seminar attended by around 40 participants, including journalists, trainers and senior editors. The day was structured around a presentation of the results by Marc Ombui, an expert from the Prospective et Coopération independent consultancy, followed by working groups and plenary discussions.
The recommendations were aimed at optimising future CFI projects by focusing on the selection of participants, training topics and the organisation of coaching.
The noteworthy impacts of the project include:
Improved media capacity to produce reliable and inclusive information
Greater involvement of young people and civil society in combatting false information
• The creation of networks of journalists and young people committed to peace and national reconciliation

Furthermore, a number of recommendations were also put forward by the participants:
• To maintain and expand meetings between journalists, local authorities and civil society in sensitive areas
• To strengthen support for the young people involved in peace initiatives, in particular by increasing the number of media education workshops in schools
Ensuring the sustainability of impacts through post-project monitoring and the creation of durable networks

The Talk Peace project has shown that collaboration between journalists and young people is essential in combatting disinformation and promoting peace. Despite the security challenges, Talk Peace has been able to strengthen the production of quality information. The recommendations arising from the evaluation underline the importance of pursuing these initiatives to ensure lasting impacts and support peace efforts in Cameroon.

Closing seminar of the Talk Peace project, 24 April 2024 ©Upgraders

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