Somalia 05 November 2022 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) completed a journalism training course on professionalising Somali media inline with freedom of expression benefitting 51 journalists across six regions in Somalia.
The two round training, supported by the US Embassy in Mogadishu, convened journalists in the various mainstream media outlets as well as independent journalists from across Mogadishu, Hirshabelle, Southwest, Jubbaland, Galmudug and Puntland.
The first part of the training was held in Mogadishu in July benefitting 26 journalists while the second part, which capacitated 25 journalists,took place in Galkayo, central Somalia. Out of the 51 participants, 16 are female journalists.
The training sessions focused on four key areas: freedom of expression and media freedom coupled with limitations and responsibilities, journalists’ code of conduct, fact-checking and verification of information as well as conflict-sensitive journalism.
The training emphasized the need for the trained journalists to provide factual, objective, balanced and verifiable information to the public to inform decisions about themselves, their community and government. Professional journalists need to practice and be bound by a discipline of fact-finding and verification of the TRUTH.
In the longer term, journalists who got this training will be able to advocate for themselves in the improvement of journalists’ working conditions, good pay and safety. SJS provided hardcopy training manuals in Somali language to every participant essential for absorbing knowledge and information.
At the conclusion of the training in Galkayo, journalists and local government officials stated on the importance of media freedom and safety of journalists as they have expressed their solidarity for SJS activism towards free press in Somalia.
“I congratulate you for completing the training. I am sure that this training has increased a lot and has added value to your profession as journalists,” Hassan Abdirahman, the director of media relations and training of Galmudug’s Ministry of Information said “Journalists have been on the forefront in serving for public interest, holding powerful officials to account, finding solutions to the problems faced by the community and promoting peace.
I hope what you have learned will improve your skills and your work as a journalist. I want to profoundly thank the leadership of SJS and all its activists.”
At his closing remarks, SJS Secretary of Trainings and Education, Hanad Ali Guled, stated that good journalism plays an important role in democratic societies because journalists’ reporting allow for participation among citizens. Therefore, when it comes to healthy democratic networks, it is crucial that that journalistic coverage remains independent and factual so it doesn’t affect citizens’ levels of trust. “That is the type of media we want in our country,” he added.
“We are very excited that we’ve completed this training with the benefit of capacitating 51 Somali journalists across six main regions in the country.
It is a great achievement toward the professional development of Somali media community which we could not have achieved without the support of the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu,” SJS Secretary of Trainings and Education, Hanad Ali Guled said “On behalf of the Somali journalists, I thank the United States Government – in particular – the U.S Embassy in Mogadishu team for their dedication to support the development of the professional skills of Somali journalists and advancing freedom of the press.”
“For the journalists who benefitted from these trainings, SJS hopes that you will utilise the skills you gained for your professional duties and that you will be able to adapt in your workplaces and make a difference.”