Bamenda: Journalists Acquire Techniques In Mitigating Hatespeech And Fake News

By Nubeh Nai Vonna

Over twenty-five journalists selected from the broadcast and print media in Bamenda, have reshaped their knowledge on how to use journalistic standards in conflict sensitive reporting.

Eugene Nforngwa facilitating during the seminar

This was product of a two days capacity-building championed by the non-governmental organization #DefyHateNow on July 30 to 31 at Hilltop hotel up station Bamenda.

The discuss provided a safe space to caution journalists against violence arising from hatespeed, fake news and conflict sensitive reporting.

The session equally was a ‘reflection, analytical, critical, deliberative and collaborative’ atmosphere for participants to encorcate the role of the media in countering hatespeech, says Eugene Nforngwa, development policy and communication analyst facilitating at the workshop.

“The media have the unique strength to reach a large audience at the same time. Journalists can therefore provoke or prevent violence arising from conflict. Getting the facts right is fundamental and remember you’re sources don’t have the responsibility to be truthful but you the journalist do”.

Bamenda based journalists are encouraged to practice accuracy and truth, impartiality and fair balance amongst other journalistic standards, while limiting as much as possible sign posting, force balance and media spinning where necessary, as lee ways to handle conflict sensitive issues.

Aside the exercise of setuating a conflict and providing its in-depth analyses, differentiating definition from meanings, objectivity from fairness, and misinformation from fake news also spiced the session, which participants applauded.

“The workshop has widened my scope in reporting, most especially reporting about conflict-related issues. As a journalist, if there is a conflict in my community I would know exactly those to meet so that it can be resolved” Neba Jerome journalist with Herald Tribune newspaper

It should be noted that, journalists possess abilities to shape believes, policies, and decisions in the society through their reporting.. Supporting peace-building processes especially during conflict situations should therefore be the driving force of every journalist in building a peaceful society.

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