Twenty-five Somali journalists from various regions in Mogadishu and other regional federal member states have participated in 2 –day Online training held from 17th – 18th April 2021 on respecting the safety procedures for Covid-19 prevention.
The Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ) organized the online training with the support of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), which was aiming to improve the safety of journalists, an advocacy campaign for COVAX vaccine rollout for Covid-19 and the pandemic reporting coverage.
Ahmed Mohamed Ali, Mohamud Mohamed Adde and Farah Omar Nur, veteran and qualified long-serving media trainers have facilitated the two- day online training sessions.
Dr Hanan Hassan, a qualified health doctor detailed the public has comprehended the background and origins of the pandemic and the values of the vaccine.
Furthermore, she explained that most of the public has accepted the vaccine inoculation, despite dissemination of fake news saying the vaccine is carrying the virus and could cause blood clotting. She added the frontline health workers and vulnerable people will give priority to be immunized.
During the sessions, the participating journalists from radio, TV and online channels were taken through the thematic areas on:- the significance of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and Sinopharma Covid vaccine in preventing the spread of the pandemic, the misconception on the vaccine, the need for community awareness-raising in the media, the ethical for reporting Covid-19 and the related principles.
In addition, the participants have been exposed to a session on what is fake news and particularly on the Covid – 19, and the need to have an accurate and reliable source of information when reporting issues related to the pandemic.
“The online training has focused on the key topics on Safety procedure in Covid-19 reporting coverage, an advocacy campaign for COVAX Vaccine introduction in Somalia and presentation on preparation of radio Drama for awareness-raising on the COVAX vaccine rollout for prevention of the spread of Covid-19.” Farah Omar Nur, FESOJ Secretary-General said in his official opening statement.
“From the two –day virtual training, we have learned lessons on the best practices to advocate for preventing the spread of Covid-19, and we have been empowered with the necessary skills to preparer media programs on Covid-19 and promotional campaign for the vaccine preventing the spread of the pandemic.” Burhan Cadeysay, a journalist in Galkacyo explained
“I had the opportunity to have gained the knowledge on the ethical Covid-19 situation reporting, the difference between fake news and propaganda, and the impactful prominent community members taking part in the media advocacy campaign for the Covid-19 vaccine preventing the spread of the pandemic.” Shukri Ismail, a female journalist in Baidoa city, South West State of Somalia said.
“We hope that this training will improve the way journalists cover the COVID-19 related news and distribution of the vaccine preventing the spread of the pandemic. We call on the trained journalists to put into practice the lessons and strategies shared by the media experts” Abadir Abdulkadir Elmi, FESOJ Chairperson said in his concluding remarks.