One of Cameroon’s contemporary authors in journalism, Derick Nkeh Ndimuh, has made a passionate appeal for the restoration of sanity within the Cameroon media landscape. Speaking during the launch of his second book “Professional Journalism: Training and Practice in Cameroon” at Ayaba Hotel in Bamenda recently, Mr. Ndimuh called on quarks within media landscape to pursue formal training in Journalism so the noble profession can be recuperated from growing unprofessional and unethical practices.
N. Bertrand Shancho
The author opined that as Fourth Estate of the country, journalists are a symbolic embodiment of the strict conscience of the society and noxious gangrene of bad journalistic practice must be checked. Besides quarks taking of formal training, author Ndimuh enumerated a number of measures that must be taken if sanity must be restored in the Cameroon media landscape
“For us to come out of this mess, journalism schools must step up on the efficacy of their training, the government should reform the 1990’s law defining a journalist, the government should grant subventions to private media as a means to discourage brown envelop syndrome, the National Communication Council should use formal training of journalists as pre-requisite to obtaining national press badge and the process of obtaining license should be made less irksome to media owners,” he recommended.
The writing of this book, according to the author, is against the backdrop that despite the training of hundreds o journalists to the media landscape, unprofessional reports and falsehood still loom on the media landscape. In a bid to circumvent this plight, he conducted a survey in 2015 with discoveries that culminated in the writing of the book: “Professional Journalism: Training and Practice in Cameroon”
This book, which sets out to reiterate the journalism profession as a professionalized and practical endeavour, looks at the acquisition of the journalistic skills in the classroom and the practical aspect which entails going to the field, investigating events and accurately reporting them in a balanced manner. It is divided into two parts comprising ten chapters. The first part focuses on the historicity of the profession in the continent, its practice and theoretical articulations while the second part discusses the genesis of the practice of journalism in Cameroon. In a nut shell, the book attempts an answer to the controversy that surrounds the journalism profession with the upsurge of quack journalists in Cameroon in particular and Africa in general.
NW Administration Endorses, Frowns at Sensational Reporting
Representing the Governor of the Northwest Region as Chair during the launch of “Professional Journalism: Training and Practice in Cameroon” Inspector No 1 in Charge of Prefectural Order at the Governor’s Office, Mr. Tatah Julius, said the book is timely considering the current crisis in the Northwest and the Southwest regions. He stated that the administration has a marriage with the press as the conscience of the society, but professionalism is very important and should be adhered by all in the profession of journalism in Cameroon.
“Gone are those days when you could take a newspaper and see some pages blank because the state saw the pages as harmful to the population. The 1990 liberty laws have made Cameroon one of the advanced countries in the practice of Journalism. The administration has always seen journalists as the conscience and mirror of the society. We know that you are able, and dynamic practitioners that is why the marriage between the administration and journalists in Cameroon is on and there have been no cause for divorce” Mr Tata quipped.
He added that press censorship has is a thing of the past as the Government has allowed Journalists to their own watch dog. “….that’s why the National Communication Council is manned by journalists. We no longer stop you from broadcasting or disseminating anything,” the Governor’s Representative explained.
He frowned at practices within the journalism profession where public figures are pulled down; where if nothing is received in exchange, journalists will not publish the right information; where quality of information is dependent on the amount of money received.
The North West Regional Administrator throw the weight of the South West Governor’s Office behind this book “We want to thank Mr. Derick Nkeh for this book and to say that all practitioners should follow such example and be the one to criticize your own profession. The Governor asked me to come and support, and tell you that as far as he is concern, he will continue to work in collaboration with the journalists for the development of Cameroon because a society cannot develop when it’s not built on good information” he added.
Derick Nkeh Ndimuh, holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) Degree in Journalism and Masss Communication and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Buea. He is also author of Factual Recall