Cameroonian media outlets commit to objective, accurate and inclusive reporting
From 4 to 14 October 2022, 18 editorial managers working for French- and English-speaking mass media outlets operating in Cameroon attended two workshops on fact-checking information in sensitive environments.
These workshops were led by Cameroonian trainer, Marthe Ndiang, Cameroonian journalist, trainer and data expert, Paul-Joël Kamtchang, and Cameroonian journalist, trainer and France 24 correspondent, Marcel Amoko. The workshops gathered editors-in-chief and station and programme managers working in public and private television, radio and the written press across various regions of Cameroon.
The aim of the workshops was to raise awareness of fundamental issues, such as fact-checking, journalist safety when reporting from crisis areas, gender issues and the specific problems that media executives face in certain regions.
Creating reliable content in crisis-ridden environments
Given the abundance of misleading news being spread and amplified by social media — especially news about the conflict that has been raging in the English-speaking regions of North-West and South-West Cameroon since 2016 — journalists are being called upon to play a key role in reporting and covering the news as professionally and responsibly as possible. In this context, this training was an opportunity to specifically address fact-checking tools, which make it possible to investigate misleading news and rumours every day.
The attendees who took part in the practical exercises really appreciated this module. It was even something of a revelation for some of them. Reporter sans Frontières also made a contribution by introducing participants to the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) platform, which aims to accredit reliable media outlets so that their content becomes more prominent and ranks higher on search engines and social media.
Journalists are often among the first people to enter crisis areas. They may witness atrocities and human rights violations. Special attention has been paid to keeping them safe by identifying good practices that media executives can introduce within newsrooms to ensure that their journalists are safe before and while they report from the field.
CFI will subsequently support journalists from these media outlets by providing them with training and on-site coaching, the purpose of which is to boost their ability to fact-check information and report from sensitive environments.