Home » Cameroonian Online Journalists, Bloggers Equipped to Better Fact-check, Report Human Rights

Cameroonian Online Journalists, Bloggers Equipped to Better Fact-check, Report Human Rights

by Atlantic Chronicles

By Andrew Nsoseka

Over 25 online journalists and bloggers in Cameroon, were from February 27-29, 2024, drilled on how to fact-check and report human rights violations and abuses. The joint training organised by OHCHR Central Africa Regional Office and UNDP, in partnership with the Cameroon Bloggers Association, was aimed at giving journalists working knowledge of what Human Rights are, how to fact-check, and how to mainstream professional reporting of human rights-related issues in the news.

The three-day training took the journalists to Ebolowa in the South region, where they were given working knowledge and lessons on what human rights are, the various basic human rights laws and how to report them, to bring about accountability and a better society for all. The lessons were accompanied by practical exercises and a couple of group work drills that helped the participants to better assimilate the training they received from the various presenters.


Human Rights Officer at OHCHR Central Africa Regional Office, Fonyuy Kiven addressing participants

The three-day workshop began with a general introduction to Human Rights and an overview of Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals. Different sessions also delved into the basic notions of Human Rights and Human Rights terminologies, as well as the level of responsibility in Human Rights.

On Day Two, the focus was on basic principles of human rights, communication for development and humanitarian action, and fact-checking, all accompanied by practical exercises to better understand the concepts. The third and last day of the workshop had presentations on understanding the role of online journalists and bloggers in the protection of human rights. There was also a session on how best online content can be produced to attract an audience, as well as sustain it. There was also a segment dedicated to developing a communication strategy for UNCHRD. Participants expressed gratitude to the organisers for giving them the essential skills needed to professionally report human rights and contribute positively to achieve a better society for all.


Stakeholders at Ebolowa workshop

Speaking to the media after the workshop, Human Rights Officer at OHCHR Central Africa Regional Office, Fonyuy Kiven said the training was the first of its kind for bloggers and online journalists. “We are shifting gradually to the digital stage where lots of things are done online, where people search online for news than on classic newspapers and other classic media, and bloggers and online journalists are becoming the centre of attraction, meaning they cannot be left behind when it comes to human rights protection, development reporting and humanitarian reporting. We organised this three-day training to strengthen the capacities of these bloggers and online journalists on fact-checking and reporting on human rights. There is also a focus on development reporting, and humanitarian reporting, which means that we are trying to build a core group of online journalists and bloggers who master human rights, who master development reporting especially in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals, and who master humanitarian reporting and how to blend human rights and humanitarian reporting”, Kiven said.

Kiven said their hope and aim is to see the knowledge gained by the online journalists and bloggers, put into practice. He said this needs to be translated into practice, by the participants creating professional content on human rights and humanitarian reporting, as well as communication for development using the approach learnt at the training.

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