Cameroon slams sanctions on independent media organizations

The thirteenth ordinary session of the National Communication Council that held on March 11, 2016 whose focused was mainly on finalizing the strategic plan of the Council’s functioning and the examination of eight petitions has instead slammed sanctions on ten journalists. The pro CPDM government body claimed the journalists violated the ethics and professional code of practice governing mass communication in the country. 

The Council separately suspended the newspaper “Aurore Plus” and its Publisher for a period of three (03) months, and journalists Barthélemy Nzock and André Som from practicing journalism in Cameroon for a period of six (06) months. Both Nzock and Som were charged for disseminating unfounded claims which barely met the professional requirements of investigation, cross-referencing and the quest for balanced information.

The Publisher of the bi-weekly “La Nouvelle Presse” according to the NCC failed to meet the professional requirements of cross-checking and balancing information. The Council issued a warning to Mr. Nwe Charles René, journalist with “La Novelle Presse”, for violating the ethics and professional code of practice governing mass communication. The Publisher was instructed to publish the decision on the front page of his next issue following notification of this measure. Mr. Dewa Aboubakar, a journalist with the weekly “L’Anecdote”, was banned for a period of three (03) months from practicing journalism in Cameroon. The Publisher of the aforementioned newspaper, who was issued a warning, is required, in the very next issue of his newspaper following notification of the present decision, to have it published on the front page of his newspaper.

Haman Daniel,a reporter with “Le Soir” was given a one (01) month suspension for having published unfounded accusations in the 464th issue of the said newspaper in violation of the ethics and professional code of practice governing mass communication. The Council also suspended “La Météo” for a period of one (01) month and Mr. Mamouda Labaran, journalist in the said bi-weekly for a period of three (03) months.

The publisher of “Vision 4” was issued a warning and Mr. Amougou Nathan Homère,a correspondent with “Vision 4” and his program “Sans tabou” was banned for (06) months . Douala Manga Eric and Ndzana Arsène of the “L’Indépendant” newspaper were separately suspended for a period of three (03) months. The decisions taken according to the Chairman of the National Communication Council, Peter Essoka are intended to recall the social responsibility the journalist especially those who erroneously misinterpret the concept of press freedom.

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