Cameroon - Traditional Media Witnessing A Boom In NW/SW Regions After Internet Blackout

With the complete shutdown of the internet in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon and the inability of the populace of these two regions to access the social media to get “breaking news”, the old glorious days of the traditional media is beginning to gain stem in the above mentions regions.

Unlike in the past when the social media used to occupy almost 80% of the news market with denizens relaying predominantly on it for daily information, the shutting down of the internet in Anglophone Cameroon is not just playing positive for owners of traditional media especially the private media, but is equally bringing back the old glorious days of the traditional media.

Newspaper sales are at its best as vendors who spoke to Cameroon Concord affirm that their kiosk recently receive unprecedented numbers of buyers daily who come to update themselves with recent happenings and latest information as regard the ongoing strike action in Cameroon. With the sales hitting the ceilings, it is now a common practice to pass and see a group of youths in their twenties reading a newspaper and debating on a topic. The immediacy of radio and its ability to break and report on events as they occur place it at the top of preferred media in the Anglophone Cameroon these days.

In Buea for example, rather than seeing youths walking with their heads down, tweeting and commenting on post on one of the social media networks, almost everyone has an ear bug connected to their phones.

But just that this time they are not listening to the latest hit they just downloaded but to various radio stations be them local, national or international. Marvelous Ngale, manager at a Buea-based radio station who spoke to Cameroon Concord avowed that the number of calls he get for his call-in programs has tripled since the shutdown of the internet. His words “…it is actually unbelievable; sometimes we receive calls such that the presenter and panelist have no time to chip in their own contributions.” As regard the audiovisual media, the story is almost the same with a constant increase in viewership and contributions per-program.
Cameroon: Traditional Media Witnessing A Boom In NW/SW Regions After Internet Blackout
A Buea-based TV anchor boasted to Cameroon Concord how her program recently signs two partnership agreements because of the audience it pulls. While confirming that the program which is a morning show sometimes hardly read all its contributions sent via Short Message service, SMS, the anchor sound optimistic that even when internet will be reconnected to the North West and South West Regions, traditional media despite what some critics say will hardly be exterminated.


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