By Tata Mbunwe
Cameroon’s largest community of peace Journalists, the Cameroon Community Media Network, CCMN, has urged authorities in the country to create an enabling environment for the safe practice of Journalism.
In a message to commemorate World Press Freedom Day this May 3, CCMN’s National Coordinator, Rosaline Obah Akah, says Journalists must join forces and work with other stake holders to press fro free speech and an enablinpg environment for journalism practice.
“We still have to create a sustainable environment where journalists are not put on harm’s way in their line of duty,” says Rose Obah.
“As a peace community and crusader of sustainable development, we must join forces to protect our own, while working with other stakeholders, to advocate for free speech, and an enabling environment to practice journalism in Cameroon,” she added in her message.
World Press Freedom Day 2021 is being commemorated under the theme: “Information as a Public Good” and, according to CCMN, it highlights the indisputable importance of verified and reliable information.
The theme “serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no one behind,” says CCMN.
“… the theme challenges us to reflect on the essential role of free and professional journalists in producing and disseminating this information, by tackling misinformation and other harmful content. It recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting on our health, our human rights, democracies and sustainable development. This is the moment for Peace Journalists to promote messages of Hope, Peace, and Sustainable Development.”
Exposing on the day’s theme, Buea University’s Journalism professor, Dr Kingsley Ngange, says as a Public Good, information should be freely available for all persons at all times. This also entails Government enhancing journalists’ ability to acquire information that is vital to the public.
The day was commemorated in Buea through workshops to sensitive Journalists, with award ceremonies to honour outstanding personalities in the media landscape.