Somaliland: Disrepute in Media Conduct Worsening




Somalilandsun – Assuming that we can understand the situation that could practically and technically besmirch the credential of the overseers at the Civil Service Commission Hqs, the presentation of whatever happened and the retorts in its aftermath only compounds to the problems we have been trying to always highlight in this column.

Given the scenario that the press claims is that CSI’s hall was the venue that was “stormed” by “Muslims” who “kicked out” a blasphemous gathering, vis-à-vis the CSI’s chiefs painstaking rejoinder of denial, the former falls short of expected standards while the latter should live up to their words.

As we sympathize with Messrs M.O. Abdillahi and I.H. Nour for the bad light unverified articles depicted and made out of their charge, we hope that they will use legal means to clear their institution’s name.

Of course going by the original versions of the initial story, an arbitration panel would rightly argue that the stories were too sweeping, un-authoritative and unverified because of clear lack of attributions; it was made and presented as straight forward hearsays.

Our bone of contention here has always been two prongs:-

First and foremost we abhor malicious and libelous articles and expect the media to be ethical just as we support media freedom and press justice to the hilt and with the same emotion.

Secondly, victims (or alleged victims) of unruly press should not be voluble with words only or be assumed to spitfire rhetoric, but should indeed redress the matter according to the law, for the good of all the society.

Accusations and counter accusations has been customized so much that its culture is hurting both the nation and its people portraying the press as a gutter one. How can we defend our own when we put ourselves into disrepute by undermining ethics and foregoing basic rules of reporter, reporting and what is worth reporting?

In this case, now that the CSI chiefs claim that the offensive newspapers’ reps ‘absconded’ hence backtracked on apologizing and retracting their stories, they have expectedly threatened to sue them.

Their sworn actions to follow-up the matter should, in the light we see, help the media caliber in the whole nation.

Treating our public to cat and mouse races always has gone too far hence become a public nuisance.

On the same note, speaking on the same media issue, we should be careful not to tread carelessly on situations that need no substantiations for the obvious. This is mainly because the impressions we make always lasts; especially first impressions of practically anything or everything that is a first.

All Somalilanders of all walks of life, people in offices of note whether public or private and all stakeholders should always think Somaliland first before any other earthly issues.

What we sow is what we would reap; in other words our image matters now and in the future hence we should be wary of what type of precedence we are setting at all times.

Ways and means of managing crisis should be an asset the CSI ought to teach both public and private sector officials. They, then, should do the right thing.

Once more we accord barbs and barbs to shoddy local media.

The author M.A. Egge is both associate editor of Somalilandsun and editor of The Horn Tribune a weekly English newspaper published in Hargeisa by the state owned Dawan Media Group