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28 More Cameroonian Journalists Granted Press Cards 

By Nformi Sonde Kinsai
The President of the National Press Card Issuance Commission, Séverin Tchounkeu, has disclosed that 28 Cameroonian journalists are the latest set of media practitioners to be granted press cards.
He made the revelation at the end of the first session of the Commission for 2018 that took place on April 18 in the conference room of the Ministry of Communication in Yaounde.

Hailing the nine Commission members out of 10 that took part in the deliberations, Tchounkeu, who is the Publisher of the Media Group, La Nouvelle Expression SARL, said 60 files were examined and out of that figure, 28 applicants were granted the press cards. Twenty other files were accepted on reserve awaiting the completion of missing documents while 12 others were simply rejected. He disclosed that as of today, some 1142 applications have been received by the Commission so far since inception and out of that number; some 134 files have been rejected.

He stated that some media organs that hitherto stiffly opposed the work of the Commission are today sending in application files of their workers for examination. He said the mission of the Commission is to identify true media practitioners and ensure that they benefit from the advantages that go with their profession.

He mentioned the 2018 upcoming elections and the 2019 Total African Cup of Nations in Cameroon as two major events prompting the Commission to take special measures to ensure smooth media coverage by press-cards-bearing journalists. Tchounkeu said apart from submitting the list of journalists granted the press cards to international sports federations, diplomatic missions and some national institutions, a copy will particularly be submitted to the Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic. According to him, this would hasten the elaboration of a statute for Cameroonian journalists.

Talking to reporters, one of the Commission members and CRTV journalist, Tabe Enonchong, said all journalists who have been granted press cards, are already benefitting from virtually free Orange Cameroun calls amongst themselves and considerable deductions when calling other networks. She said in addition to this, the prices of communication gadgets at Orange Cameroon for holders of the press cards have been trimmed down.

She also mentioned a deal the Commission sealed with Brussels Airline where Cameroonian press cards bearing journalists will have a 15 percent reduction on the prices of the flight tickets.
On what was missing in the files examined and accepted on reserve, Tabe said some documents such as work contracts and social insurance registration attestations, amongst others, were absent in some of the application files. She said the media organs concerned would be informed so that the files could be completed.

“We are encouraging those who have not yet subscribed to do so. You will remember that when we started, we had a lot of resistance especially from the private press. But, today, I was amazed that a group like Anecdote had the files of their personnel presented to us.
“We are encouraging every other media house to make sure that their workers get the press cards. We are equally encouraging media promoters to establish work contracts for their personnel and get them registered with the National Social Insurance Fund,” Tabe stated.

She advised potential applicants to contact the Secretariat of the Commission situated at the CAMNEWS Building, adjacent to the Ministry of Communication in Yaounde, for the list of requirements.

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