MOGADISHU, Somalia 30 December, 2021 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) concludes its fourth Human Rights Journalism training in Garowe, the capital of Puntland State of Somalia on Wednesday 29 December.
The three-day training on human rights reporting through documentation and advocacy benefitted 25 local reporters drawn from independent media stations and the state media. 10 of the trainees were female reporters. The activity is part ongoing journalism training project supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
“In Garowe, we have selected very capable journalists from the local media and we are glad that many of them had the passion of reporting and advocating for human rights issues. The Garowe training is part six training initiatives with a target of 150 journalists trained on the topic of human rights across Somalia, thanks to the useful financial support we had received from the National Endowment for Democracy,” SJS Secretary General, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin said.
The 25 journalists will receive a mentorship support as they join SJS network of human rights reporters currently active in four regions.
Building on past experiences, the chairman of the Office of Puntland Human Rights Defender, Sa’id Abdi Muumin noted that learning about human rights would make easy for the journalist to distinguish between stories that fall under the category of human rights violation and those are not.
“Therefore, journalists need to learn international standards and local rules they need to follow when reporting and disseminating information about human rights issues. I encourage you to implement what you have learnt, in order to be balanced and credible,” added Sa’id Muumin “Our office is ready to work with the journalists and we appeal your collaboration with us.”
On behalf of the Ministry of Information of Puntland, Director General Mohamed Isse Osman hailed the training opportunity for the local journalists and appealed more skill-based trainings which include the field of human rights and humanitarian coverage.
“Human Rights related trainings have been previously conducted but we still require more and more to upgrade the skills of our journalists. We recognise that the number of the journalists who receive this opportunity is equivalent to 10% of the total number of the journalists in Garowe town. However, we are happy that it is a good start,” Director General Mohamed Isse Osman added.
On her part, Puntland’s Deputy Minister of Women and Family Affairs, Sahra-Kin Abdi Hersi acknowledged the importance of specialised trainings to improve the skills of the journalists as it is necessary for rebuilding of the country and the society.
“We thank SJS for their commitment to improve the skills of the journalists as part of improving the society which is necessary for the rebuilding of the country. We can imagine the condition in which journalists operate in Somalia. It is very difficult and I salute them. However, our journalists need to reconsider the situation in which they are working,” said Deputy Minister Hersi.
“Though, I am a friend of the media, I was deeply disappointed by how the media covered the recent conflict in Bosaso. Therefore, let our journalists be ambassadors of peace and human rights,” Mrs. Hersi added.
During the opening and the conclusion of the three-day training, SJS team was joined by representatives from the local media associations: the Media Association of Puntland (MAP) and the Women in Media Initiative Somalia, Office of Puntland Human Rights Defender as well as human rights lawyers and local civil society figures.