Home NEWSConflict Participants Express Need For Continuity As JADE’s Free Press, Human Rights Project Ends

Participants Express Need For Continuity As JADE’s Free Press, Human Rights Project Ends

by Atlantic Chronicles

Participants at JADE’s restitution workshop

By Andrew Nsoseka, JADE

Various stakeholders, from journalists to legal minds, CSOs, and law enforcement, have expressed the need for continuity of JADE’s “Free Press to Promote Human Rights” project, which was aimed at strengthening and capacitating the media in human rights-based journalism, and a greater extend, the rule of law.

The three-year project which started in 2020, and ended in December 2023, saw the participation of journalists who were trained and incentivised to do more human rights reporting, themed on balanced journalism and best practices. At the restitution workshop held in Douala on December 28, the cross-section of participants, who included, journalists, and key players in the promotion of human rights, like administrative authorities, police and gendarmerie officials, magistrates, lawyers, and civil society, after evaluating the progress made by the project, all expressed the need for the project to continue, and also be possibly broadened. The recommendations that summed up to calls for continuity and greater collaboration between key actors were a result of the group work that was done by the participants at the workshop, aimed at proposing recommendations for the project.

During the workshop, the project Coordinator, Etienne Tasse presented the results of the three-year project, which showcased a marked increase in reports on human rights abuses and related fields, by participating media houses and journalists. Results Presented by the Coordinator showed that in 2020, the written press had just 0.5 of its content centred on human rights. In 2022, the figure increased to 1 percent, and in 2023, it increased to 1.4 percent, marking a 180 percent progress throughout the duration of the project. For radio, in 2020, radios had 2.96 percent of their content centred on human rights. In 2022, it increased to 3.5, and in 2023, it got up to 3.8, marking a total increase of 28.4 for radios during the span of the project. For TV stations, in 2020, 3.33 of content was on human rights stories. In 2023, this increased to 4.13 percent and in 2023, it rose to 4.7 percent. In total, TV stations witnessed a marked 41 percent increase in human rights related stories throughout the JADE project.

Tasse saluted the work of the participating journalists in the project, who through their various publications, shone some light on the human rights abuses, situations and trends in the country, through their works. He said tons of articles are produced throughout the three-year period of the project, and that they did meet the standards of good journalism, which has to do with reporting true, and verifiable incidents in an ethical and just manner.

Tasse urged all actors, be there journalists, magistrates, lawyers, and civil society to continue to work together to promote a society where the respect of human rights is a culture.

The three-year project was funded by the European Union and it also had on board, Caractères sans frontières as well as Association des Juristes pour les Droits Humains.

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