Material Module 7: Case Study Cameroon (Central Africa)

Foreword: A brief summary of Cameroons geographical-, political- and migration-profile

The country of Cameroon uniquely compromises both Anglophone and Francophone Africa, as a result of its colonial history. The languages (of which French is the dominant one in the country) not only sperate the Cameroonians by manor of speech, but also divide the country into two separate legal-, education- and media systems.

Cameroon showcases push- as well as pull-factors for migration. People leave the country to migrate and/or seek refuge elsewhere as a result of conflicts, terrorism, repressive governmental practices, limited press freedom, gender injustice, high unemployment rates, a young and rapidly growing population with limited opportunities, high poverty rates and a significant diaspora network. Opposed to that, many people migrated or migrate into the country. Two examples for pull factors into the country are a period of a higher economic and political stability in the second half of the 20th century that attracted workers from outside of the country, as well as the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria, which connects to Cameroons northern boarders, which caused people to seek refuge in Cameroon, even though the countries north is now also affected by the crisis.

Besides that, even inside of the country there are severe numbers of displaced people who tried to escape local conflicts like the so-called Anglophone crisis.

For more information about the countries geographical, political and migration profile, check out module 7 from our handbook. The following learning-session will focus on Cameroons media system, freedom of press and the work of local journalists.

Learning session: Media and Journalism in Cameroon

Now, we will take a closer look at the countries media system, its press-freedom rank and the work and life of  local journalists. This chapter is devided in small multimedia content-pieces which will be summarised and tested with quizzes and games. You can let your participants do this learning session by their own. In the end they will have the opportunity to watch an interview with Cameroonian journalist Rekiatu Jingi who worked as an investigative freelancing journalist in the country before transitioning to the state’s media-outlets.

 

1: Introduction

The freedom of press is part of Cameroons constitution. Still the work of journalists (from inside the country as well as from the outside) is facing many challenges including governmental opression, infrastructural challenges like internet access for the majority of citizens, but also immediate challenges in the work environment like censorship or selfcensorship, corruption and deficites in the education of new journalists.

Quiz: The organisation Reporters without Borders ranks countries based on their freedom of press. You will be shown various countries. Based on your current knowledge or estimation: Try to decide if the country is in a better or worse place than Cameroon, when it comes to freedom of press. This is a small task to introduce you to the topic and the way you will be tested throughout this chapter.

 

Let´s take a closer look at Cameroons rank on the Press-Freedom Index.
First: locate Cameroon on the African continent.

 

Now visit Cameroon on the interactive map by Reporters without Borders and check out the countries profile.

Image: Map – Freedom of the Press worldwide 2020

Quiz: The information provided by Reporters without Borders should have given you a first impression of conflicts and issues journalists in Cameroon have to face. To finish this introduction, take the following short test.

 

 

2: Online usage and digital infrastructure

The following charts provide a brief overview of the way the internet is used in Cameroon.

Internet usage in Cameroon (in percentage of the countries population)

 

Comparison: Internet usage in Germany (in percentage of the countries population)

 

Percentage of population using the internet in Cameroon over time

 

Comparison: Percentage of population using the internet in Germany over time

 

Days without internet in Cameroons Anglophone regions 2017/2018

In 2017 and 2018 combined, the Anglophone regions got cut off from the internet for more than 230 days.

 

 

3: Journalistic Work-Environments – Chances and Challenges

The overview by Reporters without Borders, together with the charts, should have given first insights about the situation of journalists in Cameroon. Now listen to a compact summary of the related chapter in our handbook. Please take notes. It is possible to listen multiple times.

Now check the learning success!
Below are the transcript of the audio. Try to fill the blanks with the right snippets.

 

This chart illustrates the previously mentioned increase of attacks against journalists since 1992. 

Note: In 2010 and 2019 there was one case each of a journalist getting killed. The other numbers show imprisonments.

 

 

4: The Interview: Rekiatu Jingi

Take a look at the interview with Cameroonian journalist Rekiatu Jingi, who used to work as a freelancing investigative journalist, before transitioning to the state’s media.

 

The following clip is one of the works of Rekiatu Jingi from her time as a freelancing journalist. It is very helpful to watch at least parts of it, but is not obligatory for the following test.

 

 

Quiz: With the following test, the most important pieces of information from the interview with Rekiatu Jingi are queried. Questions can be true/false or multiple choice style.

 

More information (not mandatory): 

The short video “A Journalist in Exile” is recommended as additional material by our handbook. The video allows insights into the heart and mind of Cameroonian reporter Agnès Tailé. Watch the video here.

 

5: Final Test

This is the final step to complete the additional online learning-content to the 7th module. At this point all the necessary pieces of information to answer this summaring test are provided.

Afterwards you find some recommended modules from our handbook for further related education and some sidenotes about the sources and research behind this part of the website. Good luck with the test, of course you always can revisit the previous chapters to find the answers you need. 

 

6: Useful content recommendations

The following list guides to modules from the handbook, that are closely related to what has been taught in this module.

To learn more about reasons and circumstances regarding migrants and refugees: Module 3

To learn more about inner-African migration: Module 9

To learn more about collaborative journalism: Module 12

 

– Sidenotes –

The following pieces of information will help you to understand our way of aggregating informations, check copyright informations if necessary and see when the content on this page was updated the for the last time.

  • Cameroons status on the Reporters without Borders ranking, as well as the informations asked for in the regarding quiz were aggregated in March 2021
  • All pieces of copyright information for the africa map used for the “locate Cameroon”-Quiz can be viewed by clicking the Right of use button underneath
  • The image of the Reporters without Borders map was taken as a screenshot from their website in March 2021 by the author of this page
  • The videos “A Journalist in Exile” (embedded as a link) and “Finding Hope” (embedded via videoplayer) are third parties content and were embedded to this website
  • The interview with Rekiatu Jingi was recorded on February 12th 2021 and edited for reasons of length by the author of this page. For reasons of transparency we made cuts inside of the used footage visible through white-fades
  • Source for percentage of internet usage in Cameroon: As shown in the handbook-chapter
  • Source for percentage of internet usage in Germany: https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/36146/umfrage/anzahl-der-internetnutzer-in-deutschland-seit-1997/ 
  • Source for increase of population using the internet in Cameroon: https://www.statista.com/statistics/640127/cameroon-internet-penetration/
  • Source for increase of population using the internet in Germany: Click here to open the regarding section of the destatis.de website
  • Source for numbers of attacked journalists in Cameroon: https://cpj.org/africa/cameroon/
  • Header images: Credits for headers 1,2,4 (roofs and billboard in Cameroon): Edouard Tamba on Unsplash  | Header 3 (printed newspapers): Bank Phrom on Unsplash

Author: Finn Kolja Fach

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