By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The content produced by local media houses is set for dramatic change as pertains to strict adherence to professional ethics proper sourcing of information as well as proper observation and utilization of the constitutionally enshrined Freedom of press and speech.
Three days Ethics training for over 20 journalists representing public and private media houses implemented by the Somaliland Journalist Association-SOLJA with funding from the National Endowment for Democracy-NED concluded at the Imperial hotel in Hargeisa where participants concurred on the relevance of acquired skills.
Officially closing the training, the secretary general of SOLJA Mr. Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah who urged participants to not only utilize their acquired skills but become on the job trainers to their colleagues said that similar activities are to be conducted on a regular basis.
Following recommendations made by participants as pertains to continuous meetings between the association and local journalists the SOLJA Secretary General who promised an intensification of activities informed that plans are at an advanced stages of availing members a media centre for ease of work.
“We are in the process of facilitating for a media centre where you can undertake your duties while equipped with proper tools of your trade like cameras and voice recorders as well as computers and internet access” Said Mohamed-Rashid while revealing that scholarships are soon to be availed 10 local scribes for further studiesabroad
The information minister Abdilahi U’kuse who officiated at the opening ceremony of the workshop said the state and local journalists had concurred on the need to establish conducive working relationships thence dilute tensions.
“With the knowledge to be accrued here on Ethics of journalism am sure that you will find your approach to reporting shall change thence provide factual and well researched items that cannot be contested by any” Minister U’kuse had said.
According to the training facilitator Mr. Hasan who is a legal counselor with Watershed Legal Services firm the skills imparted during the three days of day long training revolved around issues pertinent to the legal parameters open to a journalist awhile reporting vis ‘a’ vis laws of Somaliland.
Insiders reveal that the unprecedented continuous arrest of journalist in Somaliland are behind the desire for SOLJA to first impart its members with Ethics of journalism thence ameliorate internally as a prelude to elimination of confrontations with the state.
All the participants who thanked both SOLJA and NED for implementation and funding of their training urged the two to continue their partnership which was termed ass beneficial to the entire nation.