Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cameroon:University of Buea Produces Second PhD in Journalism

By Christopher Ambe
The 21 -year old prestigious Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) of University of Buea(UB) has produced its second Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

     Mr. Muluh Henry Ziyingong, lecturer of JMC UB, earned the title of Doctor of Philosophy on July 12, 2014 when he successfully defended his doctoral thesis, "Broadcast Regulation And Deregulation In Cameroon 1960 To 2012 .Implications For Radio Journalism Practice" before a jury of seasoned professors in the Board Room of the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, University of Buea..

Muluh Henry defending his PhD thesis in journalism
 Muluh’s  ground-breaking research work  was supervised by Prof. Enoh Tanjong,pioneer Head of JMC,UB-now headed by Dr. Julius Che Tita

The five-person jury that examined and validated the thesis was chaired by endowed Professor Victor Wacham Mbarika of the ICT University in Louisiana, USA. Other jury members were Prof. Albert Mbida of Ministry of Communication, Prof. Misse Misse, Prof. Martha Tumnde of University of Buea and Prof. Enoh Tanjong of University of Buea

        The first ever PhD thesis from the JMC of UB was successfully defended by Kingsley Ngange, lecturer of same department on December 27, 2012. The title of Ngange's thesis was "Redefining Journalism Roles In Democracy: In Search Of Evidence From Elections Coverage Using Mobile Phones And Internet In Cameroon"

     The jury chair Prof Mbarika, describing Muluh Ziyingong's brilliant work as original, ground-breaking and rich in the opinion of the jury, declared that the candidate scored an A-grade.

Prof .Victor Mbarika asking questions to Muluh Henry
"The panel decided that, he has passed with an A- grade, which is excellent. He is now Dr. Henry Muluh", he announced to thunderous applause from the audience

Professor Mbarika later told reporters: "The candidate did an excellent job looking at the issues of deregulation and impact on private radio stations in Cameroon. He did an excellent work that is why the jury gave him very high recommendation for PhD.

"His work really touches something that is important especially in the context of developing nations. Radio is very important and there are still a lot of villages without television; his work was a masterpiece; I don't think there is any work that has written much about issues of regulation and deregulation within the sector"

     On what the candidate actually brought out in his research work, Professor Mbarika said, "First of all you have to know that this is a PhD thesis and not a newspaper, so the most important thing about a PhD thesis is theory; so he did a good job in contributing to the theoretical base in looking at issues of deregulation or regulation within the radio sector. The theory was solid.

  "On the side of relevance, he came up with certain measures that the Cameroon Government can take, as well as the private sector; the thing I like about his work, is that the private sector has a lot to do-for example self-regulation. If the associations of journalists can all come together, instead of having Francophone journalists, Anglophone journalists, Bali Journalists and so on, that would greatly help the profession in maintaining standards".Prof Mbarika,who has supervised over PhD's said.

    Commenting on the recommendations of the thesis, jury chair said they are very strong and suggested that they be transformed in to a book. "I think he will come up with a book on this, which will be very important," he opined.

      After his defense,Dr. Muluh told reporters :"What I am trying to say from my thesis is that, if the Government does not provide the legal framework for deregulation, If the Government does not actually show interest in really wanting to deregulate, then of course the kinds of disorder which we have in the media  sector  will still persist"

   Prof.Mbida said the work would, no doubt, contribute in shaping the future of journalism in the country, while Prof Tumnde, who is also Dean of the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, UB, pointed out that the research would contribute to staff development in the Faculty, where Muluh has been a lecturer for many years.

Drawing inspiration from the thesis, Prof Tumnde recommended that the private media in Cameroon be structured as companies, and not a private property, for better management.

   In an exchange with this reporter, Dr. Julius Che Tita, current head of JMC of UB, said the department was very proud of its two PhD graduates. He added that the department would produce more PhD's, and that everything has been put in place for the next defense in the months ahead.

   Dr. Che Tita expressed hope that UB would continue to support the department in its endeavors, so to make it more resourceful and competitive

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