Cameroon: Media organs urged to adopt community-oriented programmes

July 19, 2005

By Bangsi Daniel Song in Bamenda

Bamenda-based private TV and radio stations have been urged to adopt community-oriented educational programmes for free so as to attract audience.

The appeal was made last Friday 15, July at the EMPED foundation, during the end of a five-day workshop on capacity building for Bamenda-based journalists.

Speaking during an open-conversational session, Omer Songwe, journalist and guest speaker on resource mobilisation for NGOs and media organs, told journalists that private video and TV stations could still survive if they develop community-based free programmes which in turn would attract the public.

He said if good programs are brought up, advertisers would know people listen to the radios and will in turn pay for adverts which will help run the media houses. In addition, they could even receive grants from organisations for doing good programmes. Omer Songwe emphasised on media corporate responsibility to get the civil society organisation participate in their programmes.

"The private media should set the pace because this media corporate responsibility to the public will attract attention more than music played all the time."

During the five days, the journalists went through capacity building facets like setting strategic goals, writing mission and vision statements, project design, project monitoring and evaluation, planning and monitoring and mobilising resources for media organs.

Speaking to The Herald, Awa Stateson, the coordinator of the Fomunyoh Foundation in Cameroon that organised the 4-week seminar for NGOs, civil society, human rights and journalists in weekly turns, said this would assist journalists support other organisations and their media organs. He said the emphasis on balanced reporting during the workshop was to ensure the development of the local media that is an important asset to other organisations.

For his part, Mason Ingram, facilitator from John Hopkins University in the US, emphasised that partnership between the media and other civil society organisations was very important. The series of seminars that are organised by the Fomunyoh Foundation, in collaboration with EMPED Foundation, will end on 29th July with a workshop for all the civil society groups that took part.


© The Herald