Ever since the video report of an Equinoxe TV reporter, Derick Jato, purporting battlefield fighting between Ambazonian soldiers and a military convoy in Lebialem was released, many have rained insults on the embedded manner with which the report was done. The supposed staged-manage report did not augur well, as many have questioned Jato’s journalistic ethics, and others linking him to be an alliance to La Republique Du Cameroun’s genocidal activities taking place in the Federal Republic of Ambazonia.
However, the former Editor of the English News Desk at Equinoxe TV, and presently the publisher of Cameroon News Agency (CNA), Nfor Hanson Nchanji, pleads with the world to see the bigger picture. According to him, Derick Jato, has done a lot for the Southern Cameroons people, to be termed a ‘fake reporter’.
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Some of you have been quick to call Derick Jato, ‘Fake Reporter’, drawing your conclusions from the recent report he did about the attack of the South West Governor’s convoy to and from Lebialem division.
Many are insinuating that Derick Jato was hired to do the ‘job’ for the Governor, to justify something.
I do not want to go into the nitty-gritty of the issue because it will take us back to the Anglophone problem and who is doing what , where, why and how, I just want to raise some professional issues concerning Derick Jato and his coverage of the Anglophone crisis.
The young man has demonstrated resilience in doing so. To call him today fake reporter is an over statement.
1) He bravely covered the uprising in Ekona Town early 2017, when stones were flying from left to right, he was held for several minutes by Ekona guys for questioning before his release, they were however happy that he has been objective. The fact that along the line he worked with the military (who at some point wanted to seize his Camera) does not mean, he was on a mission for somebody. Those criticizing him did not take time to listen to interviews he brought from Ekona; they were mind blowing.
2) I also expected critics to say Derick Jato was hired to tell the government that Refugees in Nigeria badly need food and shelter. Despite the tense atmosphere at the border, this young man was able to join the A Ayah Foundation to Nigeria and the videos they brought were soul searching, shocking and a slap on the face of the Government, yet no one congratulated him. (Did we congratulate him?)
3) Lastly, many journalists will not even accept millions as (Gombo) to follow a convoy which they know could be attacked at any time. How much can Derick be given to simulate an attack? Did the Governor really tell him to do that? Did anyone find out from him how the attack occurred and where the Ambazonia fighters, he described as armed civilians, were hiding?
Let us pardon him for some few lapses he made but above all GIVE HIM A BREAK, he did a good job in a hostile environment, transported by the military( So he would have to play with words to guarantee his own safety) Shortcomings of Embedded Journalism.
I expect those who have used his images on their newspapers, on their YouTube, Television Channels, Radio and Online to give him credits, if they cannot give him money.
By Bernadette Nkembi,
Roving-Reporter – BaretaNews