By Ngende Esther
Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists, CAMASEJ, has rounded off a three-day capacity building workshop on factoring gender and human rights in reporting the armed conflict in Cameroon’s Southwest and Northwest Region of the country.
The workshop which took place in Kribi, Ocean Division of the South Region, from November 11 – 13, 2021, brought together some 30 print and online journalists, human rights and gender experts and members of sister organisations.
The workshop was organised by CAMASEJ and funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI).
In his welcome address, the National President of CAMASEJ, Jude Viban, noted that print and online journalists play a vital role in reporting stories, and as such, needed to be empowered with the right skills in their daily reporting.
According to him, with the crisis, and the many unreported stories, the workshop is timely as it will sharpen the skills of Journalists. “As part of the story which is going on in the Southwest and Northwest Regions, there is no better time than now. Gender and Human Rights stories have been underreported.”
“For, a good story badly told can open gates of jail,” he said, adding that “We thought it wise to begin with the print and online journalists, to empower them with the right skills in reporting Gender, Human Rights in conflict reporting in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, in the days ahead, those of the audio-visual will also be empowered”.
Meanwhile, the South Regional Delegate for Communication, Beko’o B Evina Marguerite Solange, while officially opening the workshop, enjoined journalists to always verify information before publishing. “Being in the conflict zones should not prevent you from giving the right information. Use this workshop to revive all the little skills and lessons you were thought in school and your various newsrooms.”
Participants were drilled on the challenges and perspectives of human rights defenders in a crisis region; journalists as human rights defenders; pitching attracting stories for an international audience; understanding gender sensitivity in reporting amongst others are topics. Some of the experts who spoke at the workshop were Barrister Vitalise Legenju, a Human Rights defender, Dr. Violet Fokum, Gender Expert and Amindeh Blaise Atabong, an award-winning Journalist. The workshop was coordinated by Ajumane Francis Akam.
At the end of the workshop, participants expressed gratitude, saying more of such workshops can only make them better equipped to fully report the crisis. It is hoped that, with the training at the seminar, stories on gender and human rights will be aptly reported in the troubled Anglophone regions of Cameroon.