Friday, August 10, 2018

Audio: Trapped between two loaded guns
Cameroonian journalists say they're "trapped between two loaded guns." How can they stay safe and still do their jobs? Is peace journalism the answer?

New audio report: https://soundcloud.com/user-217095053/can-cameroonian-journalists-safely-do-their-jobs 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Call for Papers:
Peace Journalist Magazine

I’m writing with my semi-annual call for papers for the Peace Journalist magazine. We seek submissions on peace journalism initiatives, research, etc. However, we do not seek general submissions about peace projects, unless they entail a media angle. Submissions should be 500-1500 words, and sent to me at steve.youngblood@park.edu by Sept. 7. Photos are welcome.

You can view the previous edition (April 2018) on Issuu at: https://issuu.com/peacejournalism/docs/peace_journalist_apr2018_web_new

You can also download a .pdf copy of the magazine by clicking this link. For more about the magazine, and our Center for Global Peace Journalism, please see www.park.edu/peacecenter.

I look forward to reading your submissions.

Best wishes,

Steven Youngblood
Editor, The Peace Journalist
Director, Center for Global Peace Journalism
Park University, Parkville, Missouri

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Survey: Threats to Cameroon Journalists; Workshop Wrap
(YAOUNDE, CAMEROON)—A new survey shows that journalists in Cameroon face threats from both authorities and rebels, though the risk varies greatly from region to region.

As part of three peace journalism workshops I’ve taught here in July, journalists filled out a survey that asked them to rank the threats they face from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest threat level. Not surprisingly, journalists in the conflict regions (northwest, southwest) registered much higher threats from both government (NW-3.78; SW-3.48)and separatists fighting the government (NW-2.81; SW-3.13). In six other regions combined, the average threat level perceived by journalists was much lower from both government (2.40) and separatists (2.55). Journalists from all regions rated the threat level from opposition politicians as very low.
Journalists from all regions agreed that those who practice peace journalism have a lower threat risk overall. This is contrary to a few discussions we’ve had in class. (See previous post)

I’m continuing to crunch these numbers, and will have a full report in the October Peace Journalist  magazine.
  
Workshop day four
Our four day workshop in Yaounde concludes today with discussions about whether peace journalism is possible here, and how to best move forward as potential violent conflict looms over Cameroon. Yesterday, we discussed social media, and the journalists practiced writing Facebook posts and tweets.

Next week, I’ll post a  blog summarizing my experience in July in Cameroon.


Monday, July 30, 2018

Might peace journalism put reporters at greater risk?

(CAMEROON)—Threats against journalists seem to lurk everywhere in Cameroon. Many of the journalists we talked to in Bafoussam and Bonaberi said that one of the best ways to mitigate those risks is to practice responsible peace journalism.
 
Today, their colleagues at a four day peace journalism workshop disagreed. They say practicing peace journalism will actually put them at greater risk of threats, intimidation, incarceration, or kidnapping. Why? One journalist said that reporting about humanitarian issues, as peace journalism asks, will anger officials who don’t want to such issues. Another journalist said the word peace itself may incite anger by either side of the conflict—from separatists who think peace means that you are opposed to their goal, and from authorities who believe peace means acceding to the separatist’s demands.

Also today, the journalists from throughout Cameroon engaged in some preliminary planning for upcoming, contentious events in Cameroon like the opening of school, the separatist’s independence day on Oct. 1, and the presidential election on Oct. 7. 

This four day workshop is sponsored by the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University, the Cameroon Community Media Network, and the Fredrich Ebert Foundation.






Thursday, July 26, 2018

As violence flairs, safety becomes paramount

(CAMEROON)—As we reached the midway mark of our second peace journalism seminar here, I let out a silent cheer commemorating the fact that we are apparently being left alone by authorities. (Our first seminar in Bonaberi was shut down by police after 3 hours. See posts below for details).

This news is especially good because the seminar so far, featuring journalists primarily from the northwest region, has been nothing short of excellent. The 45 attendees have discussed topics ranging from peaceful election reporting to reporting internally displaced persons—a topic that might become of paramount importance if the violence continues to escalate in the northwest and southwest Anglophone regions of the country.
  
Perhaps the most interesting discussion swirled around the deteriorating security situation in the Anglophone regions, and how this imperils journalists. The journalists shared some of their ideas on how they can stay safe while violence flairs around them. These tips include getting proper journalist’s credentials; being non-partisan; avoiding hotspots where violence may flair up; respecting the rules of polling places; using peace journalism principles; practicing solid fundamental journalism in general; and, according to at least one participant, praying regularly.

The event is co sponsored by the Cameroon Community Media Network.