The Press in Cameroon

In 1991 I spent a semester in Cameroon through a program run by the School for International Training. While there I did a one-month independent study project on the local media and issues of censorship. I put the paper up on the Web in 1995, and people seemed to find it useful.

I am no longer providing updates on the events and people mentioned in the paper. But for what it's worth, it's still here, along with some pointers to other resources related to African journalism on the Web, most in English. Your comments are welcome but please note that I can't answer general questions about Cameroon.

-- David Gallagher, 8/99

On This Site

Public and Private Press in Cameroon
My research paper, which looks at the conflict between an increasingly free press and a government that wants to present its own version of events.

I. Introduction

II. A brief history
III. Cameroon today
IV. The press scene -- An overview

V. The public media
VI. Cameroon Tribune
VII. The Tribune's future -- Some opinions

VIII. The private press
IX. Le Messager
X. The debate over censorship
XI. Le Messager and the censorship game

XII. The media and the future

Appendix: Interview with Celestin Monga, opposition writer


From Freedom of the Press to a Cameroon Prison Cell
Pius Njawe, editor of the newspaper Le Messager in Cameroon, was released from jail in October 1998, three months before the end of his one-year sentence on charges of printing a false article about the president. Terry Maguire, a lawyer who worked to get Njawe out of jail, sent me this essay about his efforts in April 1998.

From Cameroon

Cameroon Tribune
Some stories from the paper, which seems to be putting both French and English articles in the same edition now.

Le Messager
Independent newspaper. The site is in French only, it seems.

There were links to other independent newspaper sites here, but I took them out -- the sites hadn't been updated in over a year in some cases. What's going on? Maybe they moved. Anyway, you might try this directory for more papers.

The Anthropology of Anger: Civil Society and Democracy in Africa
A book by Celestin Monga, published in 1996.

Outside Observers Dossier Médias
Extensive survey of African media, with a section on Cameroon, published 2/01. French only.

U.S. State Department: Human Rights Reports
These country-specific annual reports include a section called "Freedom of Speech and the Press" which summarizes the state of press freedom and describes violations in the preceding year.

Amnesty International Country Reports
These also cover treatment of journalists and publications and are produced annually.

The International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House
Search their database for detailed alerts on crackdowns on journalists and newspapers in Africa.

More Cameroon Links

Home Page of the Republic of Cameroon
It's unofficial, actually.

Welcome to Cameroon
An informal introduction.

E-Mail home (photos and stuff)