One week after the start of campaigns for the twin legislative and municipal elections, 34 out of 58 political parties in the race have made at least one appearance on the media.
The information is the result of a survey carried out by the National Communication Council from January 25, to February 1, 2020. The evaluation was made public during a press briefing by the Chairman of the National Communication Council, Peter Essoka.
The Chairman explained that the assessment covers time spent on the public and private sector media outlets during the first week of campaigns. It outlines and makes a distinction between the airtime regulated by the Ministry of Communication and that recorded in various news broadcasts.
The survey was conducted on the CRTV Radio, CRTV Television, and the national bilingual daily, Cameroon Tribune for the public media and a number of Private Radio, TV and cyber publications.
Peter Essoka commended Cameroon media in general, for their professionalism in the treatment of information despite the heated nature of campaign debates. He, however, regretted that some media organs; STV2, Magic FM and ActuCameroun.com opened their air waves to debates that did not deserve such privilege.
He urged the media to avoid reporting anything that is likely to incite political hatred, confrontational reaction and create unnecessary conflict between Cameroonians at this delicate period.
He reminded the press to uphold balance, transparency and pluralism in the coverage of the election campaign.o
The Chairman of the National Communication Council, noted that the report is the conclusion of the permanent session of the National Communication Council held during election campaign period to ensure compliance with the legislative regulations, the principle of fair, and equal access of political parties, candidates or their representatives, to public media.
The session also examined the media’s compliance with the principles of transparency, pluralism and balance.
Peter Essoka used the occasion to remind the public of modalities of access of political parties to audiovisual media:
-Direct broadcasts of political parties represented in the National Assembly and the Senate are suspended preceding an election or referendum.
-Broadcasts of a political nature shall be suspended for the duration of the electoral campaign
-During this period, the presence of the candidates in all broadcast other than those provided for in the framework of the electoral campaign and the normal processing of information shall be suspended.
The Secretary General of the National Communication Council, Prof Jean Tabi Hond read out details on the time used by each of the 34 political parties on the media.