The Threats to Journalists and the Absence of Press Freedom

    • Journalists in Cameroon face threats and danger in their line of work, with some being killed for their investigative reporting. As Cameroon joins the globe to commemorate the World Press Freedom day,some journalists have called on the government to ensure their freedom of expression is granted.‎Journalist in Cameroon at risk

      In Cameroon, journalists face an ongoing threat to their lives, particularly those who engage in investigative reporting. In 2023, several journalists have received threats, while others have been killed in the line of duty. One prominent case is the murder of Martinez Zogo, a journalist and program host whose remains were found in Soa. Another victim is Jean Jacques Ola Bebe, a reverend father and communicator for a private radio station.

      Lack of Press Freedom in Cameroon.

      The absence of press freedom in Cameroon is a significant concern for journalists. While the President of the National Communication Council, Joseph Chebonkeng, claims that measures are in place to protect journalists, many still operate in dangerous conditions. Journalists covering conflict zones are particularly vulnerable, and there have been reports of arrests and killings. Media rights groups note that in 2017, many journalists were murdered for their investigative reporting on political corruption and organized crime.

      Insights from Journalists.

      According to Rita Ade, a journalist, the last six years have been a dangerous time for journalists in Cameroon. Many are not killed in conflicts but are deliberately targeted for their work. Ade’s insights echo those of other journalists who describe the challenges of operating in an environment where press freedom is limited, and the risks are high.

      To gain a deeper understanding of the situation facing journalists in Cameroon, we spoke with a local journalist who preferred to remain anonymous. The journalist stated that they have received threats for their reporting on corruption and human rights abuses. They noted that even though they try to be cautious, they are still at risk. The journalist expressed frustration with the lack of action from the government to address the issue, stating that they feel abandoned and unprotected.

      The Role of International Organizations

      International organizations have been active in advocating for press freedom in Cameroon. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has highlighted the dangers faced by journalists in the country, with Cameroon ranking 135 out of 180 countries in the 2022 World Press Freedom Index. We spoke with a representative from RSF, who emphasized the need for more support from the international community to address the situation.

      The situation for journalists in Cameroon is dire, with threats and violence continuing to escalate. While some measures have been put in place to protect journalists, they are often not enough to guarantee their safety. More needs to be done to address the issue, including greater accountability from the government, support from international organizations, and public awareness of the importance of a free and independent press. The world must continue to put pressure on Cameroon to respect press freedom and protect journalists.

      This story was first published on African stringers.

Scroll to Top