Journalists Schooled to be Vectors of Peace

Jourbalists Pose with Prof YoungBlood

Close to 50 journalists drawn from the North West and West regions of the country have been schooled on the need to be balanced, neutral and solution oriented as they report stories and present editorials pertaining to conflicts during crisis and election periods in the country.

This was during a three day workshop that rounded off in Bafoussam, Friday July 27th, 2018 in which the journalists were told to be pro-active, choose their words carefully and frame their reports in ways that will prevent violence escalation and avoid the blame-game syndrome as they also tell the stories of refugees and internally displaced persons without re-victimizing the victims.

Under the banner "we stand for peace" the workshop on peace journalism with the Director of the Centre for Global Peace who doubles as a Professor at Park University in the U.S, Professor Steven Youngblood, was one of the many activities being executed by the Cameroon Community Media Network(CCMN),a structure and project put in place by the peace office of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon under its communication department with mission to train media professionals in Cameroon to embrace the virtues of peace in elections and crisis reporting.

The participants also receive skills proceeded by practical lessons on responsible social media communication, avoiding the use of hate and inflammatory language sometimes use-to propagate defamatory information.

The challenges faced by the journalists in the daily discharge of their duties were evaluated and possible solutions attempted.
At the close of the workshop, the President of CCMN for the West and North West, Roseline Akah Obah was optimistic that the workshop will enhance peace before and after elections

"I hope that the journalists will use the knowledge gained to come out with programs that could go a long way to preach and enhance peace in our society especially with the Presidential elections around the corner" .

According to Mr Alex Vojvoda, Community manager for the christian broadcasting service Buea, "The Cameroon Community Media Network (CCMN) is open to journalists who are interested in building their capacities in mitigating and not escalate violence as they engage in election and crisis reporting". 
According to Professor Steven Youngblood, Journalists should stand as Ambassadors of Peace and be the voice of the voiceless. He told journalists to always consider the consequences of their reports before serving the public.
The Journalists also attest that the workshop was very timely and will go a long way to prevent the escalation of conflict before during and after the 2018 Presidential Elections

By; Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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