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.