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    This weblog is based on DIBUSSI TANDE's personal views on people, places, issues and events in Cameroon, Africa and the world!

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« Manu Dibango: A Musical Tribute to New Orleans | Main | The Diaspora to the Rescue, Cameroonians Online »

May 02, 2007

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Kangsen Feka  Wakai

Cameroonian journalism mirrors the realities of a decaying society with a putrid national inheritance. Our heroes were villified and our traitors beatified. Infact, the dynamism of a talented populace has been held hostage at different eras by different forces, alien and homegrown, who never had the interest of Cameroonians in their diabolic agendas. To say we are an emancipated people will be a gross violation of the concept of freedom and its virtues. The depth of our bondage is evident in the contemptous excesses of our leadership; a corrupt and wealthy cabal of visionless vampires. Cameroonians have been denied the opportunity to grow in their own country by these chieftains who are commended and lauded by donors and investors alike for Cameroon's stability. The benefactors of these tyrants are as responsible for our state of affairs as we are for tolerating these self-serving tyrants. In spite of the murky and sometimes traitorous waters that Cameroonian journalists have to tread they continue to set the stage for the political dialogue and moral exorcism that Cameroon society desperately needs.
However, as a journalist in training, i must confess that on occasion i have been troubled at the level of professionalism exhibited in some of our publications. Perhaps, we should take this critique of our media landscape as a challenge to project the best in our abilities.
Again, the newspapers are a reflection of a much more deeper problem endemic in ravaged societies. The problem is also an old one with more culprits than the critic would want to acknowledge.

paulo laurent

whats cameroonian any way?

if not on the context of southern cameroons and republic of cameroon.
to always say (cameroon) is to deny facts
of history and truth.

Fritzane Kiki HK

The readership percentage in Cameroon is far below expectations.The reader population are mostly elderly civl servants who are even more selective in their articles.Majority of the youths prefare taking a look at the headlines and go to the quarters and recount the whole story in either pidgin English or dialects.A major setback is the astounding unemployment level and the millions of illiterates with a more many below poverty, lane roaming the streets.

The poor conditions in which these journalist undergo during and after their reports is also contributing to the less resourced information gathered on the ground.A vivid illustration is those in the newspaper sector whose salaries are very low to even afford for a daily bread.However,the government of Cameroon is doing little or nothing to encourage private journalists but for the civil servants who are put under a healthy monthly stipends and are predominantly covered by the ruling CPDM party.They are therefore bound under pressure to write in favor of the ruling party in the prevailing political atmosphere.A fundamental problem to journalism in Cameroon,where the journalism consumers have no choice than to go with the flow.

Fritzane Kiki
Hong Kong

Fan Zantz

True analysis by Ms Green, but true journalists, faithful to their craft and providing good information to the citizens and truth to power are there, even with a shoestring operation. There are some journalists and editorialists who actually put their lives at risk writing stories for The Post or EDEN.

Journalists in America with all its resources face another equally serious moral peril - celebrity journalism, ownership of press and media by large corporations with serious profit motives and expectations, competition for the lowest denominator pushing out real news and commentary and substituting it with fluff. There is thus tons of "infortainment" and little of real value. Hence the ascendency of the blogs to stimulate thinking and different points of view. BTW blogs are also saving us in the poor African countries.

Divine Nchamukong

We are sick and tired of these critics who see about everything wrong with Cameroon Journalism.If i had not come and lived in the United States i would have remained ignorant of the equally partisan nature of news outlets in the country.Yet my American journalism Prof. in Yaounde spent time touting American journalism as free and fair.What is fairness anyway when how we all see and interpret events and things around us depends on how we all were socialized.
Did our critic talk of poor sentence structure and resourced reporting?Well listen to many American TV and radio stations with all the money and "great education" their staff arrogate to themselves.My comment is not to look the other way from the realities of Cameroonian journalism.Yet it must be pointed out that under the circumstances, those folks are doing a great job.My point is Western journalism is not necessarily a beacon of the profession as insinuated by the critic.
Divine Nchamukong.
Washington DC

tayong

Hey Divine
Where on this small world have you been? Just over there in Mayland? Oh I remember the days of that fast speaking Radio Bamenda "Divine Chia-mukong" as we use to pronounce it. Are you still into journalism Mr Nchamukong? Well never mind, just excited hearing from you after a long time.

Well you guys, news junkies, like Dibussi can comment better on this article but the bottom line is that Cameroon journalism has a long way to go. True as you said the West isn't spared from journalistic florics but albeit, our newsmen've got to go to work.

Divine , can you reach me using s007eet01@ponstud.aau.dk please?
Cheers, Tayong.

Teribobs

Hey Divine, if those guys out there weren't better, you could have been writing from Bamenda. You proudly sign with your town trying to impress who? The writer did her homework and has quoted household names who cannot refute what you still consider allegations or exaggeration. Let us wake up from slumber. Criticisms should make us better and not bitter.

Nyangkwe Aaron

Teribobs

You do not have to stalk on Divine like that. The fat that he publishes the town he lives in call for no quarell.
BTW, when you watch CNN, Divine has all the credit in what he says about the partiality of some Western Press organs. Objectivity can be found, may be, in a rare organ like The Washinghton Post.
Back to Cameroon, the journalist here is objective in any other news bit excepts the political. you know what? When it comes to politics, money bags are in play and the pen inks what the money dictates. You can even see that even the Newspapers that won hearts with objective Journalism have crumbled under the weight of money bags from, say, Ephrain Inoni and Co.

Fon

"one future journalist asked if accepting a “gift of appreciation” after writing an article was acceptable. After all,he commented, there would be no possibility of influencing the story after the fact."

When a journalist starts accepting gifts, he will subsequently tailor his stories in a way that will attract more gifts. Therefore,if a gift does not have the possibility to influence an already written story, it will influence future stories.

Joshua

Dibussi,

This is such a well written article. Thanks for the heads up on what is happening in Cameroon. I can't help but wonder what is the current state of affairs in most African countries. Surely they couldn't be that far ahead or behind Cameroon. In order to get perspective, I have scoured the net before looking for rss. feeds from African Newspapers and only found 3. 2 South African Newspapers and one Kenyan one. What is wrong with this picture?

embele patience

I totally agree with everything Mr Tande wrote in this article because over here in Yaounde we live it. I have seen my colleagues (journalists) battling to share a 5000FCFA note given as payola; over 20 of them. One gets to wonder who will take what and how will it profit him. Its so sad. When you admit being a journalist, people automatically believe you are part of that crew and it is disheartening. For a long while now, Cameroon journalism has not evolved it is instead declining.

Bob Ben

How do we expect Cameroon Journalism to evolve when those in charge are making sure that those practicing remain where they are.My country hire foreign organs to come cover events here in Cameroon at mouth watering sums yet can not make available reasonable subvention to the press as is done in other countries. BBC thrives on citizen sponsorship while in Gabon FCFA 1 billion is given annually as subvention. This in no way justifies bad practice. All adverts to enable publishers pay reporters are given only to Cameroon Tribune. Local Councils work with private media as a favour not an obligation. There has to be legislation to this effect.when it has to do with extending mandate of those occupying top jobs it is not bad practice by our Parliamentarians to vote it in to law. This is a collective blame and warrants collective action to readjust if we want to.

Phiiip Fomenky

Dear Ms Embele Patience,
This article was not written by Tande Dibussi. It was written by maryline Greene and published in Knight line International. That is why Tande wrote thus "Originally published in Knightline International, Winter 2006, pp. 15-21". He just simply republish it in his blog.
I happen to have been one of those who worked and talked to Maryline Green when she visited The Post. Then I was the Manager of that newspaper. In all fairness, she vividly captures the reality of the functioning of our press.
What I find a little bit biased about it is the fact that she not as much as mention the efforts or good things that these journalists, spite of their short comings and challenges due to the environment in which they operate have been able to achieve.
As a former Manager of The Post who was running the paper - knows how the paper is being printed, how much each staff is paid, knows the functioning of other private media and some knowledge about Cameroon Tribune, I think she was writing the reality of what obtains in our press system.
I do not think we should fault her that much for her observations or criticisms because she was not doing a comparative analysis of America and Cameroon press!

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