The Dan Broadcasting System is one of the several privately owned television channels broadcasting from Cameroon. Established in 2006, it started effective broadcast on the 1st of June 2009 under the management of a pioneer General Manager Nyoh Moses and a Technical Director Michel Tchade. Jean Martene NDI as the Director of Programmes and Production later joined the team of directors. It operates under law number………. Liberalizing the audio-visual landscape in Cameroon.
The Dan Broadcasting System is a filial of the Brobon Finex group of companies owned by Businessman Alhadji BABA AMADOU DANPULO. It is managed by a Board of Directors, which is the apex organ, chosen by the proprietor. The day to day management of the channel is carried out by a Managing Director appointed by the Board Chairman, a Director of Programmes and Production, a Technical Director, a Director of Administration and Finance. The Dan Broadcasting System is accountable to the Board of Directors for its activities
Domestic broadcasting is funded by proceeds from adverts and subvention from the Board Chairman. External collaborators also contribute by way of furnishing the channel with programmes for free.
Editorial policy of DBS
The DBS with Headquarters in Douala, situated at the former Fougeroles base, Boulevard des Nations Unies is a Generalist Channel that went operational on the 1st of June 2009. It has an economic, political as well as a social vocation.
Our programming is however not static. We carry out regular adjustments in line with the evolution of the audio-visual landscape, and following the changing taste and habits of our televiewers, who are the prime consumers of our services. Of course, the business class is not left out. They are an indispensable partner in our unending quest for excellence, granted that they need to advertise to our audience thereby stimulating the economy and sustaining our Most importantly, we accompany the State in her unending quest for peace, national integration, social harmony and nation-building. It is a civic responsibility, granted that Cameroon as an emerging economy needs front liners like media organs to spread the message of development to all the nooks and crannies of the fatherland. To achieve this gold, DBS lays emphasis on the following:-
-Contribute to national integration through the development of social communication.
-Ensure that citizens are well informed; defend the political, economic, social and cultural interest of the Cameroon nation.
-Assist government efforts in national development.
-Respond to the needs and aspirations of citizens in matters of education, training, culture and distraction with a view of ameliorating their level of knowledge and developing their civic conscience.
We have special slots reserved for adverts, before and after each news cast. News comes up Monday to Friday at 7am, 11.30am, 8pm and 12midnight in English, 8am, 12.30pm, 9pm, and 01 am in French. On Saturdays and Sundays we have news at 8pm and it is bilingual and with a repeat broadcast at midnight. We also provide airtime for special programmes, and commercial slots on request. Thus, we broadcast for 24hours.
It is however a complex situation, sustaining and increasing viewership as well as satisfying the needs of those who advertise with DBS. These are all components that carry equal importance to us, but sometimes having preferences that sharply contrast with each other.
We have been able to blend all these aims so well that the wishes and aspirations of each party are met, while sustaining the same interest in the way we render service to all.
Economically, DBS aims at advancing the economic wellbeing of the population through documentaries, micro-production, information, without losing sight of distraction. This is in a bid to help them increase their purchasing power that will in turn help take care of their needs. In the social domain, these same programmes are tailored to respond to the needs of our televiewers by constantly giving them information that transform their reasoning and render them much more enlightened.
Closely linked to social responsibility is the need to explain government actions to the population so that they can better understand and take advantage of the several opportunities available to develop, either as a community, group or at an individual level. The media in the third world is essentially a development oriented media and DBS strives to respect that option.
We run a 24hr broadcast service per day, seven days per week, and that amounts to 168hrs.
Here is a vivid distribution of programmes on the DBS:-
General(Le jour se lève)
Cooperation progs(VOA/DW TV)
From the above schedule guide, the generalist nature of DBS comes out clear.It has to do with in-house production, production in collaboration or partnership with external partners and production entirely by external partners and we only ensure broadcast.
Distraction takes a giant share of the airtime on DBS and this consist essentially of local fiction, films and sports occupying 64hrs 30mins, representing 38.31% of air space per week
Next in line is the early morning wake up show “LeJour se Leve” that takes up 25hrs of airtime per week representing 14.88%. On this programme, there is information, education, entertainment, distraction, all wrapped up in one package to give our televiewers a fore taste of how they should go about their day’s activities.
Educative programmes cover 21hrs of broadcast per week. These include debates, documentaries, the law, religion among others. These are programmes that give the televiewer the opportunity to think differently and to better understand issues that were hitherto obscure. Percentage coverage by this segment is 12.5
Information is capital. It is the basis on which all media organs stand. The televiewer wants to be updated on what is going on around them and beyond on a permanent basis. In this light DBS has kept aside 3hrs per day dedicated to news and 3hrs additional per week dedicated to a roundup of news making events around the globe. This adds up to 19hrs per week representing 11.31%.
Cooperation with either sister TV channels out of Cameroon or collaborators who supply us with broadcast material have also been given a place in our editorial policy. Such material is however pre- viewed to ensure that they tie in with the norms and standards that DBS want to uphold. We therefore collaborate with sister channels like VOA and Deutche Welle TV. Local partners like CBN, some religious bodies and producers of locale fiction and documentaries have been supplying DBS with broadcast material. All these put together occupy 12hrs per week, representing 7.14% per week.
Broadcast in some local languages is a particularity that DBS has pioneered in television broadcasting in Cameroon. The languages chosen so far are Fulfulde, Haoussa, Douala, Pidgin, Ewondo and Bassa. Fulfulde, Haoussa and Pidgin, are languages not only spoken in Cameroon but cut across the African continent and beyond. By introducing broadcast in these three, DBS wants to reach its several telewiewers across the board, communicating to them in a language that they understand best. It is also a perfect window for business persons to communicate because by so doing, they will be taking their products right into the homes of the consumer. This holds true for the other languages, but for the simple fact they are limited in scope, but with a greater viewership than the other languages. These local languages put together occupy 12hrs 30mins per week representing 7.44%
Entertainment is yet to occupy a significant portion of air space on DBS. Eight hours per week representing 4.79%. It might seem to be insignificant but when summed up with distraction which is closely related to entertainment, the duration goes up to 72hrs 30mins with percentage duration of 43.69 per week. This is sufficient entertainment and distraction for our televiewers per week.
The youth as future leaders of any nation also have a place to make their voices heard in our editorial policy. From the kindergarten through higher institutions of learning, a 5hrs slot has been set aside for them, spaced out in programmes ranging from 30mins to 1hr 30mins throughout the week. In these programmes they are called upon to air their views on a wide range of societal issues torching on all aspects of life.
From the above distribution, French programmes carry a giant portion of airtime followed by English programmes then the local languages put together having 7.44% of airtime. It is however not a static percentage distribution, granted that the programmes guide is dynamic. New programmes come in and some old ones are flushed out. They might be in either languages, but enough care is taken not to upset the status quo in a way the percentages outweigh the established percentage allocations.
Through these guiding principles, DBS intends to reach out to the many televiewers who are already committed to our options of giving information another angle. That is, harmonising our editorial policy with the immediate concerns of the population.
Code of Conduct for Staff:
The mission of DBS is to create a more informed public, one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and culture within Cameroon and across the globe. To this end DBS reports events, produces documentaries and other content that meet the highest standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression.
Our Guiding principles
We aim at attaining the highest quality in content delivery. We inculcate in our journalists the virtues of accuracy, fairness, completeness, honesty, accountability and respect while upholding the tenets of independence and impartiality in our journalistic practices. We hold those who serve and influence the public to a high standard when we report about their actions. But we are not imprisoned by their influence when we realise that their actions go contrary to public expectations. Journalism is a process of painting an ever truer picture of society. Every step from reporting to editing to making public the final product may either strengthen or erode the public’s trust on our style of reporting. DBS has to work hard to be worthy of trust and to protect it.
Our purpose is to pursue the truth. We take great care to ensure that statements of fact are both correct and in context.
To tell the truest story possible, it is essential that we treat those we interview and report on with scrupulous fairness, guided by the spirit of professionalism. We make every effort to gather responses from those who are subjects of criticism, unfavourable allegations or other negative assertions in our stories. Whenever we quote, edit or otherwise interpret what people tell us, we aim to be faithful to their meaning, so our stories ring true to those we interview. Our goal is not to please those whom we report on or to produce stories that create the appearance of balance but to seek the truth.
We do our best to report thoroughly and tell stories comprehensively. Our styles of reporting include diverse voices that reflect our society and divergent views that contribute to informed debate. When we find that we can’t deliver all the answers to important questions, we explain what we don’t yet know and work to fill gaps in our reporting.
Journalists who conduct themselves honestly prove themselves worthy of trust. We attribute information we receive from others, making perfectly clear to our audience what information comes from which source. We may sometimes construct hypothetical’s to explain issues and events, but we reveal any fabrication and do not otherwise mix fiction with facts.
To secure the public’s trust, we make it clear that our primary allegiance is to the public. Any personal or professional interest that conflict with that allegiance, whether in appearance or in reality, risk compromising our credibility. We are quite vigilant about this and make efforts not to be victims of such traps. For this reason we are conscious of the type of gifts we accept. We are also very careful with favours, fees, free travels, special treatment, secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organisations, if they compromise journalistic integrity.
Our experiences and perspectives are valuable assets to our journalism. We enjoy the right to robust personal lives, yet we accept some unique professional obligations and limitations. Because our words and actions can damage the opinion of DBS, we comport ourselves in ways that honour our professional impartiality. We have opinions, like all people. But the public deserves factual reporting and informed analysis without our opinions influencing what they hear or see. Our objective therefore is to transcend our biases and treat all views fairly.
We take full responsibility for our work, so we must always be ready and willing to answer for it. Just as careful attention to our sources makes a story stronger, careful listening to our public makes our journalism better. So we welcome questions or criticisms from our stakeholders and to the best of our ability, we respond. Mistakes are inevitable. When we make them, we correct them forthrightly, reflect on what happened, and learn from them.
Everyone affected by our style of reporting deserves to be treated with decency and compassion. We are civil in our actions and words, avoiding arrogance and excessive ambition. We listen to others. When we ask tough question, we do so to seek answers, not confrontation. We are sensitive to differences in attitudes and culture. We minimise undue harm and take special care with those who are vulnerable or suffering, and with all subjects of our coverage, we are mindful of their privacy as we fulfil our journalistic obligations.
When we write our stories, the overriding intention is to add impact and clarity to our journalism; never to slant or distort. We don’t allow what is sensational to obscure what is significant. We go the extra mile to faithfully convey the truth.
Putting Principles into Practice
DBS is working within a context fraught with obstacles. A media landscape surrounded by aggressive competitors who have been around long before us. They have established a reporting style that is purely unethical and has virtually forced televiewers who are our principal consumers into believing that what they do is professional journalism at its best. As such reverting to standard norms is an uphill task. It is simply difficult but not impossible. DBS intend to work relentlessly to uphold these norms; if not in the short term, certainly in the long term.