Somaliland: SONSAF Advocates for Statutory Regulation to Govern Conduct & Discipline of Journalists

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Participants at the SONSAF organized media convention follow proceedings

By: Osman A.M.

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Stakeholders in the media fraternity have witnessed considerable progress since partnering with Somaliland Non State Actors Forum (SONSAF) in exploring imminent shortcomings, challenges and legal loopholes thence harnessing them into viable prospects.

This SONSAF and Media partnership is implemented through organized forums where information, ideas are deliberated and disseminated into concrete institutional, administrative & legal policies for the advancement of professionalism within the fourth estate.

In its latest convention between the media industry at one hand and SONSAF on the other held on Wednesday 9th April at Mansour Hotel in Hargeisa it was resolved to jointly work with stakeholders with a view to consolidate a wider input for the interest of the media both at home and abroad.

This was held in the latest forum which took place with the objective of consolidating efforts & outcomes of previously held joint conventions by incorporating a final paper portraying the real needs of journalism and media stakeholders in the country.

It was unanimously resolved that it is imperative for the media to evaluate the best practices for the industry while considering how to overcome inevitable challenges-including inadequate knowhow, financial constraints & legal fissures among other bottlenecks.

L-R Abdilahi Geeljire and information minister Abdilahi Ukuse and other dignitaries at the SONSAF Media Convention in Hargeisa

The resolutions reached between the media practitioners & SONSAF include inter alia;

1. Implementation of the law governing the media industry, namely Lr. NO.27/2004

2. Empowering the media profession in terms of knowledge, practice & conduct to be in tandem with their counterparts in other jurisdiction.

3. Terminating unilateral ban, proscription & closure of media houses with no right to defense.

4. Parliament (Both chambers) to introduce piecemeal legislations to amend with a view to reinforcing the main Statute for smooth operation of media practitioners.

5. Law enforcement agencies to view media practitioners as an important component of social fabric by safeguarding journalists’ fundamental rights & freedom as enshrined in the constitution of Somaliland.

6. International Community to offer support to media personnel in training, equipping and legislating sound & practicable Laws.

7. Establishment of National Media Committee

8. State to advocate good media practices by planning to establish a tertiary institution where journalism is taught.

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