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Mass Media and Democratisation in Cameroon in the Early 1990s

Francis B. Nyamnjoh

Publication Year: 2011

In the on-going democratic debate, the Cameroonian media have not played the role of objective mediators. A one-party logic, of which government, opposition and the public are guilty, has prevented Cameroonian multipartyism from addressing the major issue: that of how best to bring about real participatory democracy. So far, democracy has served mainly as a face powder, an empty concept or slogan devoid of concrete meaning used to justify reactionary propaganda by the ruling party and its acolytes on the one hand, and revolutionary propaganda by the opposition and some pressure groups on the other. This polarisation in the Cameroonian political arena corresponds to a similar polarisation in the Cameroonian media. One can identify two main political tendencies in the media: first, there are those who argue that all the government does is good and in the best interest of Cameroon, and that the radical opposition is void of patriots and motivated only by selfish, regional, or ethnic self-interests. These comprise the publicly owned, government-controlled electronic and print media on the one hand, and pro-government ìprivatelyî owned newspapers on the other. Second, there are those who claim that all the radical opposition does or stands for is in the best interest of Cameroon, and that the government and its allies are only motivated by a stubborn love of power and other selfish pursuits. These comprise the bulk of the privately owned papers. The media are polarised into two diametrically opposing camps, each claiming to know and represent the best interests of the Cameroonian people.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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pp. iii-iv

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pp. v-vi

This study on “Mass Media and Democratisation in Cameroon” can be seen as yet another step in the efforts of the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation in Cameroon to help towards an understanding of the relationship between a sound media environment and the democratisation process. ...

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pp. vii-xiii

This study titled Mass Media and Democratisation in Cameroon in the Early 1990s, has been realised thanks to funding by the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation, and thanks in particular, to Mr Michael Hackenbruch, former resident representative of the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation in Cameroon. ...

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Chapter One: Multipartyism in Cameroon

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pp. 1-10

Cameroon experienced a brief period of multipartyism both before and shortly after independence. The single party instituted in 1966, reigned for twenty-five years, with only a brief change in appellation in 1985 when the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) replaced the CNU to consolidate ...

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Chapter Two: The Official Media

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pp. 11-52

This chapter examines the part the official media – CRTV and Cameroon Tribune – have played in the on-going democratic process. It seeks to answer the question whether these institutions have adequately informed the Cameroonian public on democratic values and have shown proof of using democratic instruments ...

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Chapter Three: The Legal Framework

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pp. 53-108

In 1990 parliament voted law No 90/052 of December 19, 1990 on Freedom of Mass Communication.92 In 1993 the Fondation Friedrich Ebert (FFE) funded a study of the law by Le Cabinet JURIC in collaboration with Professor Maurice Kamto of IRIC. Published in October 1993 under the title ...

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Chapter Four: The Private Press

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pp. 109-176

In this chapter, the basic assumption is that the private press and their practitioners best serve democracy not only by informing their readership on the virtues of democracy, but by applying democratic instruments themselves. Being professional by being objective and neutral mediators is the best way ...

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Chapter Five: General Conclusion

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pp. 177-186

In this study we set out to examine whether or not the mass media have played a positive and significant role in the democratisation of Cameroonian society from 1990 to 1994. The main hypothesis or guiding idea of the study was that the mass media have not succeeded to contribute in any significant and positive way ...


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pp. 187-193

Back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956717811
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956717187

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2011