Thirty-three media practitioners working for state media in Jubaland State, have been trained on safety and security precautions to be taken while reporting from the frontline.
The three-day training which was conducted in the backdrop of enhanced joint military operations against the Al-Shabaab in the region, was organized by the Jubaland Ministry of Information and Public Awareness with support from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
The participants were taken through various modules including Professional and Ethical Journalism Standards, Principles of Journalism, Right to Freedom of Expression, National, Regional and International Human Rights Standards, frontline news coverage, the Somalia Penal Code, Personal Safety, and the Rights and obligations of journalists.
“This training is necessary especially at this time when we have stepped up our offensive in the fight against the Al-Shabaab militants. While providing the public with accurate information on what is happening at the battlefront, please take your safety and security seriously” said the Jubaland State Minister of Information and Public Awareness, Saleban Mohamed Mohamud, who spoke during the opening ceremony of the training in Kismayo.
The Secretary of the Jubaland Journalists Association, Abdullahi Abdirahman Mohamed, echoed the significance of the training in helping journalists to be cautious of their safety and security while operating in conflict situations.
Kafiyo Omar Ugas, a female journalist who participated in the training said she had gained invaluable knowledge and skills on how to be vigilant while reporting from the frontline.
“Journalism can be used in both positive and negative ways, and we have been taught how to leverage on the positive side of journalism, take responsibility for our actions, and inform our community on the events. We have also learned how to avoid fake news and propaganda that can be misleading and instigate conflict in society.” Kafiyo noted.
For Mohamed Nasir Imra, a journalist based in Kismayo, the discussions on how to handle controversial subjects had prepared them adequately on how to maintain awareness when in hostile situations.
“We gained a lot from the training and this will be beneficial to our safety and security while providing the public with information”, said Imra.