WHO ARE WE?
StopBlaBlaCam.com is a Cameroonian fact-checking website launched in 2016. It is edited by Stratline, a firm that has been helping Cameroonian authorities, for 13 years now, implement their information and communication policy.
Stratline trusted the conception and daily management of StopBlaBlaCam.com to Mediamania, under a contract that is covered by an ethics charter which guarantees journalists their right to impartiality. Mediamania already runs various African media such as Ecofin Agency (Agence Ecofin), Business in Cameroon (Investir au Cameroun), Togo First and Niamey et les 2 Jours. Its editorial staff counts 26 permanent journalists, based for the most part in Yaoundé, Abidjan, Lomé and Cotonou.
StopBlaBlaCam.com exists to prevent hoaxes, rumors, wrong ideas and superstitions circulating in Cameroon from spreading. It is a public service mission, just like the fact-checking services of France 24 and AFP.
StopBlaBlaCam.com editorial staff is a distinct section of Mediamana. It regroups three journalists trained to fact-checking techniques. On work days, an average of three news covering sectors such as economy, society, culture, health, politics, justice and security, are published.
Subjects are picked by the journalists or recommended by readers, via an online form.
Cameroon, being both anglophone and francophone, StopBlaBlaCam.com is available in French and English.
The website also releases a weekly newsletter covering issues that were published over the week. The latter is free and sent to about 20,000 subscribers.
OUR FACT-CHECKING TEAM
Patricia NGO NGOUEM
At StopBlaBlaCam.com, Patricia Ngo Ngouem writes mainly news related to culture and society. After graduating from Ecole supérieure des sciences et techniques de l’information et de la communication (Esstic) of Yaoundé, in Cameroon, she was hired by Mutations, a private newspapers. There, she headed the “culture”, “education”, “society” and “science-health-environment” departments, until February 2017 when she left. She also animated the NICT session for six years (2008-2013).
Patricia Ngo Ngouem also collaborated with many local, regional and international news websites. She was also a communication consultant at Unicef Cameroon. She has a great experience with social networks like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
National and International winner of Dictée d’Afrique (2006), a French orthography contest, Patricia won in 2016 the Global Health Reporting Contest which is organized by the International Center For Journalists (ICFJ) based in Washington D.C, US.
At StopBlaBlaCam, Sylvain Andzongo covers news related to politics and economy.
The journalist, from 2015 to 2018 was Reuters’ correspondent in Cameroon. He has a Master degree in communication, with a major in journalism, which he obtained at Ecole supérieure de sciences et techniques de l’information et la communication (Esstic), in 2011. Before that, in the early 2000s, he got a Bachelor of Arts, Bilingual Letters (English-French) and a Master in English literature.
He started his journalism career in 2002, with various newspapers in Cameroon and Gabon. Finally, he would join Mediamania in 2015 where he currently provides news on Cameroon, focused on sectors like public management, finance, telecoms and commodities. Prior to that however, still at Mediamania, he provided news on Gabon.
Julienne Rose SENDE
Julienne Rose Sende joined Mediamania for Stopblablacam’s fact-checking team in 2017. She is the community manager and mainly writes about culture and society facts.
She holds a journalism degree from the department of Information science obtained at École supérieure de sciences et techniques de l’information et la communication (Esstic) in 2010.
She has a good experience in print (Mutations daily newspaper) and web (Journal du Cameroun) media. She has also been a freelance web copywriter.
Julienne Rose Sende also holds a Master in international relations with a major in communication and international public action (2016) obtained at Cameroon’s Institute of International relations where she discovered her passion for business intelligence.
Our Fact-Checking method
To identify the origin of any image and figure out whether it has been altered as to trace its usage back (from the most recent to the oldest use), collect information about the date and time it was shot or find the metadata incorporated in it, we use three types of tools either on a laptop or a smartphone.
• Jeffrey's Image
• Photo Sherlock,
• Search by image
• RevEye Reverse Image Search
To check the origin of video submitted to us or those we come across when rumors spark, we usually use Youtube DataViewer and InVID or we take a screenshot of the video and we do image reverse search using some keywords, on Google or Tineye.
Rumors’ debunking (in every sector)
For classic rumors, we apply classic research methods with source cross-checking. One we know what sparked the rumor, we resort to reliable and relevant sources; i.e the relevant institutions, individuals entitled to talk about the subject and experts (in our contact book). We also read reports or interview witnesses. We finally crosscheck our findings to find the good information.
For fake job ads
When we come across a suspicious ad (job, migration, competition, business offers…), we analyze it to find inconsistencies in the poster’s rhetoric (spelling, protocol or design mistakes for instance). If the institution whose name is being used on the poster has a website, we visit that website to check the information. If not, we contact the person habilitated by the institution to answer our questions.
When it comes to hoaxes, we first check other fact-checking websites such as Snopes, les Décodeurs, les Observateurs , Hoax Buster or Hoax-net to see if they mentioned it. If so, we base our research on their findings.
If not, we do a keyword or image search (picture or video) to pick clues on blogs, news or entertainment websites. We also search on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Telegram, etc. Then we crosscheck the data collected with the opinion of an expert, a relevant institution, report or official, we process the information and write the article.
Straline authorized Mediamania to manage the fact-checking Stopblablacam.com it edits. This guarantees the independence of the writings. StopBlaBlaCam.com’s journalists are thus called for strict impartiality in their work.
Mediamania operates many African media including Ecofin Agency, Business in Cameroon, Togo First and Niamey et les 2 Jours. Mediamania has 26 fulltime journalistes mainly based in Yaoundé, Abidjan, Lomé and Cotonou.
Article 1 : Fact-checking
Fact-checking is the core purpose of stoblablacam.com. It aims at addressing the spread of fake news across Cameroon.
StopBlaBlaCam.com’s mission is to debunk fake or half-truth news based on facts, in a strictly neutral, impartial and non-selective manner.
StopBlaBlaCam.com’s desk board is totally independent. It does not serve the interest of any political or religious institution.
It is not subordinated to a private or economic interest. Impartial truth-seeking is its sole mission.
Article 2 : Choice of topics
The choice of topics is handled by StopBlaBlaCam.com’s desk which selects them according to the extent to which they are shared, their newsworthiness, the scope of the debates around it or the threat it represents to all or part of the Cameroonian society.
Readers or any other actor of the society can also submit subjects via an online form.
Article 3: Work procedure
StopBlaBlaCam.com uses modern fact-checking methods and technics. Its investigations rely on the professionalism and experience of known Cameroonian journalists that have a well-garnished contact book in Cameroon and a perfect knowledge of the culture, usages and local network.
Also, we rely on the skills of all the 26 African journalists of Mediamania among which there are some specialists renowned in financial investigation or in technical sectors like public management, Telecoms, agriculture, mining and oil.
Article 4: Transparency and rectifications
StopBlaBlaCam.com guarantees transparency of its information sources and methods to let its readers or peers from other media validate its fact-checking process. The desk pledges to publicly set records straight and explain the origin of a mistake if it makes them.
Yasmine Bhari Domon