Vendredi, Septembre 21, 2018

Media professionals enjoined to be architects of peace during electoral periods

Media professionals enjoined to be architects of peace during electoral periods

Douala 5 July 2018

Douala 5 July 2018 - The United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa jointly organized a workshop to strengthen the capacities of journalists on media coverage of elections and their contribution to the organisation of peaceful elections in Cameroon. The workshop was held in Douala from 3 to 5 July 2018, and is part of the United Nations’ contribution to the preparation of the electoral process planned in Cameroon in 2018 and beyond. Over 35 journalists, including 14 women, representing public and private media organs from the Centre, Littoral and South Regions of Cameroon took part in the Douala session, which was the second in a series organized by the United Nations System in Cameroon.

“All social actors, including journalists, could either worsen or construct peace during electoral processes, irrespective of the context. Therefore, journalists should ensure adequate media coverage by providing free and fair information”. The Representative of the Ministry of Communication said at the opening ceremony.

Media professionals enjoined to be architects of peace during electoral periods

On his part, the representative of the United Nations Resident Coordinator called upon journalists to “contribute to a peaceful electoral process with no hatred and violence”. He reminded the participants that “there are some limitations to their right to freedom of expression in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) ratified by Cameroon on 27 June 1984, in its article 19 (3). Therefore, Journalists have specific duties and responsibilities to respect.”sion in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) ratified by Cameroon on 27 June 1984, in its article 19 (3). Therefore, Journalists have specific duties and responsibilities to respect.”

Among other subjects, participants focused on the contribution of media organs to the promotion of human rights, their protection and safety in electoral context; the human rights norms and standards related to elections; the right to freedom of opinion and expression in light of the General Comment N°34 of the CCPR; the work of the Special rapporteur on the protection of the freedom of opinion and expression and, his/her role on the protection and safety of journalists. In addition, participants discussed on the use of social media; the challenges relating to the respect of professional ethics and deontology; regulation and self-censorship and the principles for a gender sensitive communication in the electoral process.

The workshop ended with the adoption of two important documents: the "Code of conduct for journalists and the media during electoral periods" and the “the Douala Declaration”. The Declaration focusses on the risks and threats to social peace that can be caused by news articles and programs, which do not obey the principles of balanced and impartial treatment of information, as well as the restrictions on the use of hate speech.The workshop ended with the adoption of two important documents: the "Code of conduct for journalists and the media during electoral periods" and the “the Douala Declaration”. The Declaration focusses on the risks and threats to social peace that can be caused by news articles and programs, which do not obey the principles of balanced and impartial treatment of information, as well as the restrictions on the use of hate speech.