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Training of Somali Journalists on freedom of expression

By Tajuddin
In Local News
Nov 6th, 2014
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Mogadishu ( DIPLOMAT.SO) – The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and the Finish Foundation for Media and Development (VIKES) organized a two day workshop on Freedom of Expression and its importance to the society at Mogadishu’s Jazeera Palace on 1 – 2 November 2014 for forty (4) editors from more than 35 media stations (newspapers, Television, Radio and Online).

The workshop, which was supported by Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, was officially opened by the deputy minister of information, Abdullahi Olad Roble who stressed the importance of the freedom of expression and its values to the existence of every democratic society. The minister also thanked NUSOJ and VIKES in their role of the Somali Media development programs, which the minister said appreciates their cooperation and encouraged to continue and double their efforts .

“The Freedom of expression is a fundamental pillar for every society and our constitution guarantees.” Abdullahi Olad Roble, the deputy minister of information said in his opening remarks, “The training is very important and the editors here today would benefit the expertise our colleagues from our Finland and the Somali trainers”

“I urge you to make use of what you learned from this training and once again I reiterate our commitment in guaranteeing the freedom of expression.” Roble added.

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The workshop covered Freedom of expression: challenges and responsibilities, Role of the government in safeguarding the Media Freedom, journalists’ rights to exercise the given freedoms without fear/reprisal, Freedom of speech in a society affected by an armed conflict or a humanitarian crisis, Ethics and Objective Editorial among others and a panel discussion on the freedom of expression in the Somalia context.

“I believe the training for Somali journalists on the freedom of expression and its importance to societies has been very successful.” Peik Johansson Programme Coordinator said, ” We are not in the media industry to only criticize, but to tell the people what is happening in different sections of the society, so that the citizens can make well informed decisions and take part in the debate on how the society is run.”

Highly participatory Interactive sessions and panel discussions were part of the training where the participants had the opportunity to ask questions on the situation of freedom of expression to the panelists who were both Finish and Somali facilitators with good knowledge in the field.

“I am satisfied with the successful completion of our training and the participatory manner the participants have shown.” Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, “We will continue to hold similar training’s to the Somali journalists and our commitment to hold training’s beyond Mogadishu is certain to reach out the journalists in the different regions of Somalia.”

The workshop , which was successfully completed, is part of a three year Somali Media Development project will also support the implementing of the Media Law by training legislators, civil servants, and staff of the police and armed forces as well as journalists in good practices in the field. The project will be training journalists in independent investigative journalism, media ethics and safety measures. The project will install a modern TV studio from YLE Finland to SNTV in Mogadishu, and train the staff from operations and maintenance including Technical experts from Finland.

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