Some 40 journalists have received certificates of participation at the close of a two day workshop in Yaounde on election coverage. The event organized by the American embassy in Cameroon featured a presentation by a senior official of measures have been taken to ensure a free, fair and transparent elections in Cameroon on October 7th.
The capacity workshop on election coverage in Yaounde regrouped some forty English and French speaking journalists from the six regions of the country. For two days participants were drilled on the role and responsibilities of journalists before, during and after elections as well basics news writing techniques. One of the quest speakers at the workshop Elizabeth Brian said the seminar was basically working with colleagues to share their experiences and make sure that this basic ethics of journalism Profession are respected during this elections period in Cameroon. Cameroon journalists who face many challenges like the lack of access to information by those in the private press, intimidation from politicians, low salaries and abusive dismissals all shared the problems and discuss on ways of eradicating some of them. The forum to Elizabeth Brian was also to see if journalists could work together to make sure that perhaps in the best opportunities in terms of news gathering, getting good stories and interviews. She was equally very impressed by the energy and Professionalism and working by the journalists as they shared their experiences.
The journalists were equally train on the dangers of writing and publishing and reporting bias report especially during election period. They were told that the journalist’s conscience should be the truth, reporting nothing but the truth. Avoid speculation, publicity, favoritism and worst still receiving money from politicians to write articles either to project or tarnish the image of a Presidential candidate. The journalists was told that they are supposed to be indifferent when reporting and write in such a way that the reader, viewers or listeners will be the one to judge or take sides. The journalist were reminded that the country is going through challenging moments and the journalists should not spur up anger among Cameroonians as they prepare for the poll on October 7th. During a question and answer session with the forty journalists, senior officials with the elections management body ELECAM Oka Oka Bao had the opportunity to throw more light on the functioning of the structure as well as the state of preparedness to ensure a hitch free election. At the close of the two day workshop certificates of participation were handed over to the forty English and French speaking journalists who were randomly selected from six out of the ten regions that make up the nation Cameroon.