The World Press Freedom Day was celebrated yesterday with low key celebrations across the country due to the COVID-19.
Celebrated under theme, Journalism Without Fear or Favour, it was a quiet day with celebrations mostly done electronically by the various journalism associations in respect to the social distancing measure in place to fight the spread of the COVID-19.
One of the group that had a low key celebration is the Cameroon Association of English-speaking Journalists, CAMASEJ whose members had to call off public celebrations across the various chapters.
However, the National President of CAMASEJ, Jude Viban who called for the economic empowerment of media houses in Cameroon which can give journalists the platform to uncover and report stories supported by evidence without fear or favour in order to lead the country’s narrative.
He called on the government to take the commitment to boost access to information as the best way to fight against misinformation and the spread of fake news.
As journalists look up to the powers that be to provide a smooth platform for them to practise, they were also called upon to play their part by upholding the professional ethics and publishing only well-researched and verified stories.
To protect journalists and members as they go about their duties, CAMASEJ will today donate protective kits and other materials to the six branch presidents to distribute to media houses.
On their part, the Newspaper Publishers’ Association, REPAC used the day to press for more reforms that will improve on the sector.
In a nutshell, the publishers are asking for more support from the government especially during this period marked by the COVID-19 which has stalled economic activities. They said they remain open to work with government to improve upon the sector.
The celebrations of the World Press Freedom Day come just a week after government began receiving files for the private media aid.