Launched in May 2022, Talk Peace has been deployed in various regions throughout Cameroon, especially in crisis zones, in order to train media professionals to produce reliable, fact-checked news, as well as interactive content to foster dialogue. Ten media outlets with huge audiences including TV channels and radio stations, newspapers and news websites, have been selected further to a call for candidates to enjoy capacity building in journalism: four English-speaking media outlets based in the north-west and south-west of the country, and six French-speaking media outlets based in Yaoundé, the capital, and in far north regions.
20 editorial managers trained in context-sensitive journalism
The first activities started in autumn 2022 with two workshops on context-sensitive journalism catering to 20 editorial managers, focussing on fact-checking ethics and techniques. These workshops also helped to raise awareness of reporter safety, gender equality issues and problems specific to regional contexts. They were led by three trainers from Cameroon: Marthe Ndiang, who heads up the fact-checking desk at the online media outlet DataCameroon, Paul-Joël Kamtchang, international expert in data journalism, and Marcel Amoko, correspondent for news channel France 24 in Cameroon.
20 journalists trained in fact-checking
The first training courses for journalists, devoted to fact-checking in crisis zones and in other context-sensitive situations, also started in 2022. The 20 beneficiaries learned to identify and check reliable sources, a crucial task given the exponential propagation of fake news in Cameroon and the risk that this misinformation might compromise stability and national cohesion. The workshops also emphasised the need to always use measured language and to be especially careful to avoid stigmatising terms when covering sensitive news subjects.
« The training was particularly useful for reporting on conflicts. It was a great refresher course on the essentials of reporting, stating true facts and checking my sources of information (…), especially official, secondary and primary sources. » Tse Neba Ngu, journalist for Ndefcam Radio in Bamenda.