ISBN 9789956791170
Pages 276
Dimensions 216 x 140 mm
Published 2013
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

Incisive Journalism in Cameroon

The Best of "Cameroon Report" (1978 - 1986)

edited by Sam-Nuvala Fonkem

Working for Cameroon state-owned Radio in the 1970s and '80s meant toeing the official line and learning not to sing out of tune. While the rather scanty private press that existed at the time was subject to prior censorship, a different kind of censorship - self-censorship prevailed at the Radio where topics for commentaries were vetted by the Minister of Information or his delegate. But for Anglophones working in a predominantly francophone environment, once topics were approved, the authorities could not be sure which direction commentaries were going to take as the journalists applied the tactics of 'bite and blow', sometimes giving full expression of their Anglo-Saxon spirit of debate and critical analysis as evidenced in this selection of commentaries from the Sunday morning commentary programme, "Cameroon Report" (now "Cameroon Calling") of the late 1970's up till 1986. It is a showcase of the irrepressible seed of freedom of expression that Anglophone journalists were imbued with and demonstrated at a time when subjects related to coups d'état, human rights and governance were considered taboo. It was and shall remain the indelible input of the Anglophone character that has had a positive influence on Cameroon's media landscape.

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About the Editor

Sam-Nuvala Fonkem

Michael Sam-Nuvala Fonkem is an accomplished journalist who has been practicing uninterrupted since graduating in 1976 from the International School of Journalism, Yaoundé (Ecole Suprieure de Journalisme de Yaoundé-ESSIJY). His professional career which kicked off as a news anchor and commentator at the National Station of Radio Cameroon, Yaoundé brought him face to face with the grim reality of the consequences of refusing to play the role of ‘His Master’s Voice’. Interrogations with the ‘political police’, intimidations, arrests and a 5-month spell of incarceration at the Nkondengui maximum security prison, Yaounde was the price he had to pay for being a free thinker. During his journey through the wilderness marked by a lay-off from the Cameroon Civil Service in 1998, Sam-Nuvala Fonkem wrote for a number of news publications until he joined the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) as Public Information Officer in 2010.