State-run CRTV operates national TV and radio networks and provincial radio stations. There are dozens of private radio and TV stations.
“It is clear from the diversity of the media and the outspoken reporting style that press freedom is a reality,” said Reporters Without Borders in its 2011 field survey.
But the watchdog called for media offences to be decriminalised, and said the press can be “bought and exploited” by politicians and businessmen.
Cameroon, which is home to more than 200 different linguistic groups, is known as “Africa in miniature” due to its diversity.
The Central African country has one of the highest literacy rates on the continent. Its progress, however, is hampered by persistent problems with corruption.
Created in 1961 by the unification of two former colonies, one British and one French, the modern state of Cameroon has also struggled to find peace and unity.
Internally, there are tensions over the two mainly English-speaking southern provinces. A secessionist movement, the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), emerged in the 1990s and has been banned.
The Republic of Cameroon
Population: 20 million
Major Languages: French, English, languages of Bantu, Semi-Bantu and Sudanic groups
Life expectancy: 51 years (men), 54 years (women)
Currency: CFA Franc (1 ZAR = 45.7 XAF)
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