Peter Essoka, President of Cameroon’s National Communication Council, NCC, has warned media practitioners against the promotion of inflammatory speeches that could spark violent conflict in the country.
The media regulator boss gave the warning Tuesday, September 11, at the Yaounde Mont Febe Hotel during the National awareness Seminar on hate speech in the media in Cameroon organised by the NCC in partnership with UNESCO, under the patronage of the Prime Minister, Philemon Yang
Opening the seminar which brought together media practitioners, academicians and government officials, Peter Essoka urged media practitioners to promote national unity and not parochial sentiments.
The NCC President explained that the work of a journalist in the society was very crucial, especially in a democratic setting.
Essoka stressed the need for journalists to uphold the ethics of the profession and avoid compromising the unity and peace of the country.
“This seminar is very timely given Cameroon’s current socio-political context. Journalists need to know that thereis is nothing like hate speech in journalism and no hate speech is allowed in journalism.
“Those promoting it should know that Cameroon has come a long way and the country is a non-divisible entity,” he said.
According to him, some politicians, as well as traditional and religious leaders, were the ones promoting hate speeches and advised them to desist from such act.
Other speakers like Professor Enoh Tanjong from the University Buea and Dr. Moussa Sawadogo highlighted the impact of hate content on media audience. Professor Tanjong said hate speech lies in a complex nexus with freedom of expression.