By DOH JAMES SONKEY
WhatsApp is gradually becoming very influential in the Cameroonian society today like in most part of the world due to its proven confidentiality advantage of end-to-end encryption. As many mobile internet users have embraced this version of social media platform to share information, it has inevitably led to the creation of whatsapp groups of varied themes and interests.
While members of most WhatsApp groups find pleasure in commenting or reading silently posts from other members, the task is rather a tedious one for the administrators of such chat groups commonly referred today as “super scale civil administrators without borders” because unlike Governors, Senior Divisional Officers or Divisional Officers whose competence are limited to a specific territorial space, their powers transcend continents as their “subjects” are recruited worldwide.
Achille kamga, journalist with Le Messager Newspaper and administrator of “Redactions Info” admitted to The SUN that “administering a WhatsApp group for the sharing of information among over 136 journalists is not an easy task. I use diplomacy and tact to keep colleagues together in my group especially as I need to call to order members who are derailing others from our topic of discussion. I reach out to them inbox explaining to them that my action is intended to save the group and if the person refuses to cooperate, I temporary or permanently remove the person from the group depending on the gravity of the act committed.”
On how he came about with the issue of a daily debate theme, Achille Kamga said “we decided to introduce a debate to make our forum busy and interesting given that news does not happen each hour of the day. The themes as proposed by members are focused on latest news and we carry out the debate in total responsibility.”
The story is not the same for a group reserved exclusively for female journalists in Cameroon created in December 2017 by the administrator, Larinette Aparjie Abongwa, journalist working with STV in Yaounde. She recounts to The SUN that “Though our group is still very young, we do not intend to remain a virtual platform as we are already working towards the organization of our first physical gathering, that is, a general assembly in March 2018.”
On why she reserved the group only for female journalists, Larinette Aparjie Abongwa explained that “You know that first of all as female and as press ladies, we have our challenges given that many people are very skeptical about what becomes of the life of a female journalist due to the fact that the job is so challenging. Our members are active practicing journalists who are motivated to become women and at the same time stay firm in their profession. We know that it is not easy to go out very early in the morning and to return late at night and at the same time aspire to manage homes.”
Larinette Aparjie concluded on an optimistic note that, their coming together will help secure training opportunities and other advantages for them as female journalists.