#defyhatenow Media Mentions

Mbengwi Online: NW Journalists Hold Peace Talks in Bafoussam

NW Journalists Hold Peace Talks in Bafoussam

A three day workshop that brought together some 25 journalists from Bamenda to talk peace has wrapped off in Bafoussam, West region of Cameroon. Organised by #DefyHateNow, the capacity building meeting dubbed Media4Peace that was held between the 8th – 10th of October 2020 created an enabling environment for participants to share their views and gain more knowledge on how the media can be catalyzed for peace and justice in Cameroon.

Attendees Being Schooled

Speaking at the start of the conference, Ngala Desmond, Country Manager of #DefyHateNow Cameroon cautioned attendees to pay keen attention to every lecture,  working group and facilitated discussions because afterwards, there’ll be a mentorship program for follow up to make sure skills gained are put into practice.For three days, the media men and women were intellectually refreshened on conflict sensitive reporting and peace journalism by Eugene Nforngwa, a media and development specialist cum founder/promoter of Africa Knowledge and Policy Centre and Abong Bebey Blaise, a diplomat and international trade law/policy analyst doubling as founder of Audible International.

Abong Bebey Blaise (L) & Eugene Nforngwa (R), Workshop Facilitators

Nji Nelson Chefor, one of the participants said he’s going back edified in journalistic principles after the training. Hear him, “I am going back home with a new way of looking at some journalistic concepts and how to use them daily. I now have a different perception about objectivity, fair balance, truth and accuracy.” Almost same view shared by Wifah Jenny Hans, another participant who said “Being part of this three days training has seriously shifted my understanding of practicing journalism as I now see myself more as a participant to a good society”

Previously, #DefyHateNow had organised similar trainings on same subject matters in Yaounde, Douala and Buea with the goal to make journalists have a better understanding of peace journalism in times of conflict, a better understanding of diversity conflicts and the techniques on reporting in times of conflict, a better understanding of the present socio-economic and political context of Cameroon in general and the two Anglophone regions in particular plus a proper apprehension of the techniques to investigate, collect data and provide reliable information in times of conflict.Amongst the various lessons dished out by the resource persons were that disinformation is a legitimate military tactic and that the most cruel forms of violence are actually suffered in silence. Attendees also learnt that there are always many sides to a story, not just two. More so, that the media thrives on the sufferings of people and that the least trustworthy source is often an official source. As such things said by official sources should be taken with plenty of salt, not just a pinch. 

Ngala Desmond, DefyHateNow Cameroon Country Manager

Initiated in early 2014 by r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation with support from the German Federal Foreign Office, #DefyHateNow initiative works on providing community-based and data-driven solutions to the problem of hate speech, disinformation and misinformation.

#DefyHateNow Cameroon exists to strengthen the voices and support the actions of primarily youth, community and media oriented civil society organizations to counter social media based hate speech, conflict rhetoric and directed online incitement to violence in response to Cameroon’s ‘Anglophone Crisis’.

The project provides capacity building and media literacy trainings to enable community based organizations and citizens, including people displaced by conflict, to become positive influencers with counter-actions, fact-checking and early response monitoring skills, peacebuilding, as well as education and culture oriented activities in a rapidly evolving social media landscape, rather than leaving that space open to agents of conflict.