Most journalists taking part at the General Assembly of Union of Francophone Press holding in Yaounde are of the fact that media men and women should differentiate facts from opinion.
For some, journalists should not succumb to emotions, they should instead analyze.
Evelyne Owona Essomba, journalist at Cameroon Radio Television holds that, “People use emotions sometimes to cover facts because they don’t want to give the right information. For instance if there is a landslide, they prefer to show images of people crying so that the public will be touched without going far to ask what happened. We are surrounded by emotions everyday and journalists succumb by transmitting emotions instead of analysis which is not right. The come together will therefore contribute in changing participants mentalities as far as the topic is concerned”
Others are of the facts that journalists should differentiate facts from opinion to better practice this profession.
Stroot Philippe, journalist Switzerland is of the view that, “Information is fact, something which happened. it is undeniable and reality. So when reporting we have to give the facts by differentiating it from our own opinion. As one panelist said during the round table conference, real objectivity does not exist what we need is that people should admit that they are subjective. We have to make a difference between fact and personal opinion”.
Meantime others say emotions should be mixed with facts sometimes depending on the topic. Rabia Deida, journalist from Mauritania is of the opinion that, “Journalism is not only writing, we can also express emotions because we are humans.
For example, if there is a plane crash a presenter would not announce it like that without emotions she will surely wear a black dress. But we don’t have to let emotions take us hostage”.
To others, journalists should report objectively and control emotions.
“Being humans, we can’t avoid emotions, the issue is to report objectively, control emotions that bring us into the story. If we don’t control our emotions, we turn to be subjective. So we have to go deeper into research while reporting.” A participant indicated.
All of these reactions by participants of the 48th general assembly of the International Francophone Press Union and others is aimed at improving journalists skills.