“About 95% of media in Cameroon work on licking asses, against the very good of those whom they are supposed to serve,” said the publisher of The Rambler newspaper, Charlie Ndi Chia.
This was during a recent session at The Rambler headquarters in Buea, where he exhorted young journalists on how to master and practice journalism “the most risky profession on earth” .
Ndi Chia, who has been practicing journalism over 40 years, said most of our local media have become government tools used to protect the interests of powermongers, contrary to the journalist’s duty, that of serving society and holding leaders accountable.
The media warrior said he has experienced journalism in many countries, among them Nigeria and Israel, and his passion for the profession spurred him to create The Rambler newspaper in 2016, with slogan “Tell it as it is.”
Talking about journalism practice in Cameroon, Ndi Chia said: “The shit has hit the fan and journalists are the ones to clean it by practicing factual and data-based journalism”.
He said news reporting is critical in nature as news is usually “something somebody wants to supress” .
But most Cameroonian media, he lamented, have adopted reporting styles that keep them in the good books of politicians whom they are expected to hold to account for the lapses experienced in a country which is rather “growing back to childhood.”
He added that journalists must be responsible in the manner they treat victims of incidents in news, including how pictures and images are disseminated.
Citing the case of some pidgin broadcasters in the media scene, he said journalists have neglected to be fair and responsible, reason why the National Communication Council, which he is member, has had to sanction some of them.
Pidgin broadcasters in Cameroon often disseminate inhumane and indecent pictures, with little or no gate-keeping, in their quest to report happenings the way they are.
After being to prison several times due to his attempt to publish objectively, Ndi Chia lamented that government in Cameroon and most African countries still run and control the media.
He said journalism can thrive if government allows media ownership responsibility in the hands of private individuals, and support the private sector to run the media.
Mimi Mefo Info