A seminar on the theme took place on September 1st and 2nd, 2015 at the Mont-Fébé Hotel in Yaoundé under the patronage of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, represented by the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary.

For two days, the National Communication Council (NCC) brought together media professionals, researchers and the civil society who reflected on the need for mechanisms to protect children in the media.

According to the Vice-President of the NCC, Peter Essoka, the seminar sought to raise awareness among the masses regarding the protection of children from the risks related to harmful media content and appeal to the professional alertness of journalists and other auxiliary media.

In total, there were four workshops with specific themes which served as a laboratory from whence resolutions and recommendations were documented in a General Report.

In the first workshop, Dr. Nta Bitang delivered a presentation titled “The Child’s Right to Information and Development: Regulatory Requirements and Ethical Provisions”. The exchanges with a large audience pointed out a legal framework for child protection in Cameroon, in the sub-region and the world. It emerged from this workshop that, among others, a child should not be considered as journalistic “material” or be objectified.


The second workshop on the theme “Impact of Media Content on Children and Youth” was steered by Professor Enoh Tanjong from the University of Buea. It assessed the impact media content have on children’s education and behavior in Africa and in Cameroon. His presentation observed that this impact has changed with the advent of new information and communication technology. Media not only affect the way they dress but the manner in which they speak, eat and study. This situation has grave consequences on the individual and collective levels. If children have no necessary behavioral balance, then society as a whole may be worse off, Professor Tanjong said.

On Wednesday, September 2, 2015 Professor Christian Abolo Mbita, Head of Television Department at the Advanced School of Mass Communication (ASMAC), delivered a presentation on “Protection Mechanisms for Children and Youths in Audiovisual Media. With television and radio being the media to which children are most exposed to because of their coverage and ease of access, it was imperative to propose ways and means to ensure the safety of the young audience in general and children in particular. The use of pictograms in all Cameroonian media is as an example one of the effective ways through which children can be protected.


The final presentation delivered by Dr. Baba Wame who teaches cyber journalism at ASMAC was titled “Mechanisms for the Protection of Children and Youth Protection in Online Media”. This workshop assessed the level of children’s involvement in online media, their interest in it and proposed means to protect them from the perverse effects of the internet. The risks linked to this media range from the exposure of shocking pictures to the disclosure of personal data and include cyber bulling, scams, identity fraud and hacking. Here, the putting in place of buffers is still incomplete. If raising the awareness of parents is a way out, regulatory mechanisms will gradually be put in.

The seminar ended with the reading of various recommendations drawn from the presentations of panelists and contributions of participants. There was also the reading of the General Report. These documents will be used in producing a practical handbook for journalists on child protection in the media in Cameroon.

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