The Cameroons is Bilingual with English and French being the official languages. It is said in the Cameroons constitution that both languages would be given equal attention. History has proven that this is not true. We have seen the disrespect of the English language from all aspects of national life from programming to communiqués, to public notice boards, to public offices even in Anglophone Cameroon. When the fore parents of Southern Cameroonians were given two evil options to gain independence, they chose the lesser evil and there was an agreement based on equality. We have not seen that. The marginalization has led to groups calling for the restoration of Southern Cameroons independence on what has been termed the Anglophone problem or Southern Cameroons question.
Bilingualism does not mean one language should be oppressed or that one must speak in the other language. Cameroon must not promote bilingualism by stifling the other language by not letting it flourish. In the present Cameroon, not speaking French is as good as being dead. However, results show that Anglophones are over 12 million people though government official results put it less for political reasons. Anglophones or call it English Speaking Cameroonians deserved an all CRTV Channel which churns out English news, English programs etc. This will bring competition, I mean healthy competition between both houses. Journalists will be pushed to be innovative and creative, there would be more contracts and advertisement and the overall effect is that there would be a maximal growth of the CRTV house.
It is very much understood, the regime is careful to create an English CRTV channel because it might empower the Anglophones and probably develop more sense of an Independent Southern Cameroons. The regime is afraid that Anglophones might begin seeing what they are missing in an independent Southern Cameroons. BaretaNews thinks that this is not entirely true, it will only go a long way in giving Anglophones in the Cameroons that sense of belonging and identity and will put the regime at rest of promoting national unity and integration. This will even push more those Anglophones who do not want to hear a divided Cameroon be confident to shun away any “secessionist’ ideas. Cameroon truly deserved an English CRTV TV Channel. Cameroonians should be able to choose if they want to follow French or English news/or program. However, BaretaNews should note that creating an all CRTV English Channel does not solve the Anglophone problem but it would be a big step towards addressing it.
Cameroon Journal, an online news outlet supports this move in their editorial where they stated that they have learned from an initiative emerging from the Cameroon Radio and Television, CRTV Corporation to create six more affiliate channels for the TV station that will cater mostly to culture, entertainment, Sports etc. The journal wonders why CRTV could not be thinking of adding an all CRTV English Channel.
Cameroon Journal argues that CRTV has continued to offer some of the worst programmings especially in the area of newscast not just in the country but in Africa. They said that the backdrop is archaic, graphics appear hastily and terribly produced, the news content lacks substance and often as brief as in news headlines. They stated that all these stems from management’s drive to produce news in both French and English simultaneously and thus in trying to achieve this, there isn’t enough time left for substantial coverage of news both in the French and English.
It is reported that when CRTV was first created, Anglophone population was said to be only 4million. Today, the last population census conducted in 2011 puts it at 10 million. Cameroon Journal wonders why can’t CRTV create a whole new channel dedicated to speakers of English in the country? Statistics and time support it.
While supporting the need for the English Channel, BaretaNews thinks that if the house is separated by both channels, innovation would set in and probably move from analogue to digital. Tapang Ivo, Cameroons Journalist, and FullBright fellow questions why can’t CRTV encourage digital revolution? It will be cost effective to Cameroon’s economy cost if CRTV upgrade from analogue to digital. Why can’t Cameroonians watch “split-screen reporting” on CRTV? The split screen simply means having a journalist speak to others live on TV by Skype or some other means. If I can do it in my inspirational videos, why not you who has all the financial and human resources at your disposal?
Tapang Ivo then calls for the replacement of old technicians with new innovative youths who has “android talents.”
BaretaNews, however, opines that this rests with the Cameroon government. The regime is a dictatorial regime, they are very careful of what goes out there and maybe digital might bring some liberalism in the house and expose the regime more. If CRTV were to be independent to carry out reforms , we of this platform thinks things could have been different. That said, a separate French and English channel could do the magic.
God is still saying something.