By Yussuf Issa, May 23, 2017
Cameroon Journal-Yaounde – State broadcaster, CRTV, is profusely apologizing for a gaffe committed by one of its senior journalist and news presenter, Adele Mballa Atangana. She had on the 8:30PM news hour on May 15, read a hoax picked up from social media stating that the new cabinet of newly-elected French president, Emmanuel Macron was out.
Adele, who is not new to controversy, wasn’t aware that the said list of Macron’s cabinet ministers had been circulated hours before that newscast on the social media by tricksters. She had reported in the newscast that the new French government was made up of 16 ministers, six of them were women.
On the contrary, a genuine list unveiled two days later on Wednesday May 17, was made up of 22 members, 11 men and 11 women.
Adele Mballa’s action caused a stir with local media reporting that the French embassy in Yaounde had, in immeasurable consternation, called high ranking authorities in the country to question what was happening.
CRTV’s top management, as a result, it is alleged, reacted swiftly by suspending Adele from the 8:30 pm news presentation. This allegation was evident by the fact that the following day, Tuesday May 16, it was a different female journalist, Evelyne Owona Essomba, who showed up for the newscast.
Apology for “serious mistake”
In a letter of apology to listeners and viewers of CRTV read on some CRTV programmes on Sunday including Cameroon Calling (radio) and Press Hour (TV), the manager, Charles Ndongo, expressed deep regrets over what he described as a “serious mistake”.
He regretted that Adele Mballa, who’s director of information for television at the state-run media and a seasoned journalist, could fall so cheaply to such social media hoax.
Ndongo acknowledged that the gaffe brought shame and dishonour not only to CRTV viewers but to French people in particular.
He reassured that the corporation remains committed to efforts at ensuring the dissemination of true and authentic information.