In a bid to develop professional behaviours of journalists in Somalia as a means of deterring increasing personal risks and attacks stemming from their media work as well as boosting quality of journalism, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) conducted a 2-day training for 30 journalists in Galkayo, Puntland regional state in north-eastern Somalia.
Titled “Training on Professional Journalism and Ethical Standards” was held on 2-3 April 2018 at Jazeera Hotel in cooperation with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) where journalists came from Mudug region under both regional administrations of Puntland and Galmudug.
Awil Mohamud Abdi, NUSOJ Organising Secretary, said the training is intended to enable young journalists appreciate basics of journalism and the key ethical elements, which if understood and practiced, will lead them to make journalism a profession. “This workshop will discuss the importance of setting, improving and maintaining standards of good journalism”.
The training approached ethics and professionalism from diverse perspectives. It first tackled the question of fundamental principles and techniques of journalism, and then considered the question of responsibility that media workers owe to the society they serve. It has dealt with the most common ethical issues that arise in practice of journalism and addressed the questions of press freedom and its intersections with ethical practice and professionalism.
NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman said the training provides practical knowledge and skills for journalists, very relevant to the increasing number of young journalists in the country that quite often depend on such tools for bolstering their professional capacities.
“The knowledge and core principles embedded in this journalism capacity building program will extensively contribute to a secure and safe working environment for journalists who have found themselves repeatedly attacked by different actors under the guise of unprofessional conduct, and we all know Galkayo is second most dangerous place for journalists in this country” said Osman.
Recognising the role of journalists in promoting peace in Galkayo’s conflict prone neighbourhood, NUSOJ organised a select group of journalists from Puntland and Galmudug to meet in southern Galkayo to exchange shared ideas of cooperation in sustaining peace and reconciliation efforts in Mudug region where both regional administrations are grounded.
Governor of Mudug region, Hassan Mohamed Khalif, who spoke at the opening of the training encouraged journalists to use their profession in promoting peace and cohabitation of the people in the region, while Mayor of Galkayo, Mohamud Yasin Ahmed (Tumey), applauded journalists in both sides of Galkayo for their courage to reject violence-mongers.
The training is a set of capacity building activities that NUSOJ is implementing across the country to contribute to building a more professional and self-respecting journalism profession in Somalia.