Cameroonians over the past decades have gradually drifted from watching their National Television station to watching other private and foreign channels. This is because of the boring and poor quality of graphics, information and entertainment they are provided with. According to The Cameroon Journal #CRTV might create six more affiliate channels for the TV station. These six channels will not broadcast news, but other aspects like entertainment, culture, sports, etc.
But how about English speaking Cameroonians having an entire channel in English. This is not an attempt to push the Anglophone marginalization agenda. It is a genuine decentralization reform that if effected, should go a long way to improving on the programmes that CRTV currently offers the nation.
Over the years, CRTV has continued to offer some of the worst programmes especially in the area of newscast not just in the country but in Africa. The backdrop is archaic, graphics appear hastily and terribly produced, the news content lacks substance and often as brief as in news headlines. And one of the main reason behind this from an insider observation stems from management’s drive to produce news in both French and English simultaneously. In trying to achieve this, there isn’t enough time left for substantial coverage of news both in the French and English segments of the broadcast. Sometimes in live newscasts, you literally see live reports cut short because of segment time constraints.
When CRTV was first created, the English-speaking population of the country was said to be only 4 million. Today, the last population census conducted in 2011 puts it at 10 million. Why can’t CRTV create a whole new channel dedicated to speakers of English in the country? We think statistics and time support it.
CRTV and Cameroon Tribune will actually gain more relevance and advertisement revenue and be able to compete more with the emerging private channels should they consider these suggestions. At the least, if it cannot be done at the national level, empower the Regions like in Nigeria where every state has a local NTA affiliate channel that caters for community news or coverage to build local TV channels.
However, separate English and French national channels should be considered as priorities – such an arrangement will leave both channels with the capability to engage in extensive and meaningful coverage than what obtains today.
Giving the fact that we are in a digital age, the CRTV cannot continue lagging behind and missing out on all of today’s technological benefits.