Journalists and heads of community radio stations in the South region have reminded of the responsible role the media during an election period. The President of the National Communication Council Peter Esoka was speaking during a workshop in Ebolowa during which he cautioned the participants to contribute to rural development and not serve as vectors of hate speech.
The President of the national communication council is in Ebolowa to remind media men and women of the sensitive nature of their profession during election periods. Peter Esoka said the raison d’être for the meeting is for the journalists to group themselves together so that they can talk like professionals and put certain things together. Some of the journalists he added have forgotten the type of language to use during election period. The training is much more focus on training them on the kind of language and people to use in their programs during this period of elections and the entire electoral process. Apart from sharpening the skills of the journalists, heads of community radio stations in the South region have been reminded of the role in participating in rural development by being watchdogs of the society and not serving personal interest of some politicians. Peter Esoka insisted that journalists and heads of community radio stations are not politicians and should not get involved in acts of politics and political debates. He cited the case of one forest community radio that recently ran a political program inciting violence and prejudice against their opponents. Using this example he said it’s a form of irresponsible journalism and journalists should not be used by politicians to achieve their political interest or settle scores.
Peter Esoka equally said that community radio stations are apolitical but can read announcements concerning rallies of the nine Presidential candidates running the race to Cameroon unity palace. But cautioned that but no comments as to what prevails or turn out at the rallies should be made by the journalists of community radio stations. The President of the National Communication Council also cautioned the journalist in Ebolowa that before everything else they are at the service of the nation and must therefore promote peace, unity, national integrity and patriotism for the being of the fatherland. It should be noted that the National Communication Council in Cameroon is in charged with supervising the strict implementation of the laws governing media houses and the journalism profession. It is the watchdog to journalists in Cameroon. The meeting in Ebolowa with the heads of community radio stations and some journalists come after Peter Esoka organized a press briefing in Yaounde to assess the preparedness on election coverage.