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Bamenda Based Journalists Trained on Conflict-Sensitive Reporting

Crossview of participants at the workshop

A two day workshop that brought together some 25 Bamenda based journalists has wrapped off. Organised by #DefyHateNow, the two days capacity building workshop dubbed Media4Peace created an enabling environment for participants to share their views and gain more knowledge on how the media can be a catalyst for Peace and Justice in Cameroon.

While opening the workshop Friday July 30, 2021, Ngala Desmond, Country Manager of #DefyHateNow Cameroon called on the participants to take the lessons and tasks seriously as they will be a mentorship program for participants.

For two days, the journalists were schooled on Conflicts, Conflict-Sensitive Reporting, Fake News, Hate Speech, Peace Journalism by Eugene Nforngwa, Development Policy and Communication analyst, Director at Rainforest Centre for Policy Research.

Eugene Nforngwa talking to the participants

Wanchia Cynthia, journalist with The Guardian Post Newspaper said she's going back edified with the approaches of conflict-sensitive reporting.

"I think a workshop of this magnitude is timely. Reporting within the context I find myself is overwhelming that I sometimes find myself not being sensitive which results in me unconsciously stirring more hate. I am going home more determined to apply the approaches of Conflict sensitive reporting which promotes peace building", Wanchia Cynthia told The Safeguard.

Another participant Neba Jerome of the The Herald Tribune Newspaper, said the workshop has given him a wider scope about the role a journalist can play in resolving conflict.

"Journalists can contribute to peace building processes.
Again, am taking home the knowledge of working with the local population most especially in times of conflict by bringing them onboard and hearing from all parties involved.
In short my reporting will change drastically as a result of me attending this workshop", Jerome said.

To the lead trainer, Eugene Nforngwa, journalists need to be aware of the power that they wheeled and the influences that they have on the conflict.

"I think the most important thing that would have made this training worthwhile is if journalists become more aware of the power that they wheeled and the influences that they have on the conflict and use that information to sharpen their reporting but also change their reporting in a way that minimizes the negative impact that they have on the conflict", Eugene Nforngwa said at the end of the workshop.

Eugene Nforngwa talking to the press at the end of the workshop

#DefyHateNow had organised similar trainings on same subject in Yaounde, Douala and Buea with the goal to make journalists have a better understanding of peace Journalism in times of conflicts, diversity in conflicts.

#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.

By Nji Nelson Chefor

Photo Credit: Amabo Chris

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