Somaliland: Fourth Estate Brainstorms the Development of Local Media to International Standards


The Solja chairperson Mahmud Ahmed Huto launches 4 days workshop on Media development indicators

By: Latifa Yusuf Masai

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Somaliland Media stakeholders are assessing developments garnered by the sector as well as the way forward.

The four days of deliberations that opened at a local hotel in Hargeisa under the facilitation of the Somaliland Journalism Association- Solja and funding from UNESCO under the auspice of International Program for the development of Communication brings together senior operatives from print and electronic media houses as well as government and international partners.

Briefing participants on the objective of the workshop the chairman of SOLJA Mahmud Ahmed Jama “Huto” said “This project seeks to assess the media environment in Somaliland utilizing UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators” while adding that An assessment of the media environment in Somaliland will provide information on the current status and constraints as prelude to provision of relevant assistance to practitioners, policy makers, institutions of learning and civil society organizations.

Huto who stressed on the importance his organizations and the sponsors attach to the workshop said the outcome shall avail data and recommendations geared towards facilitating local media for attainment of professional standards as practiced internationally.

Somaliland Media Development Indicatirs workshop in process “Specifically, the outcome shall assist academics access relevant courses necessary for training of media practitioners for today’s world” the Solja chair in conclusion

Representing the Government was the Minister of Information and National Guidance Abdilahi Mohamed Dahir Ukuse who reiterated the commitment placed by President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo towards a robust and ethical fourth estate that provides citizens with factual knowledge which in turn helps them make informed decisions.

The information minister cum government spokesperson further urged local journalists to deter from acting unethically while providing information and in its instead be conduits of factual and impartial reporting.

L R ministry of posts and comms DG Feisal Sheikh MP Hasan Awale and Information minister Abdilahi ukuse follow workshop proceedimgsWhile praising the new Solja management for intense promotion of ethical media practices the chairman of the parliamentary social affairs committee MP Hassan Awale Ay’nan said that relations between the legislature and the fourth estate has enhanced resulting in cooperation especially as pertains to media law issues.

On the much debatedSomaliland Press law #27/2004 the legislator said that his committee was hopeful that existing cooperation with SOLJA shall ultimately ensue with the correction to the satisfaction of all stakeholders on number of grey areas surrounding the law.

As per the specifics outcomes anticipated the facilitator of the four days Media development Indicators workshop on Hamze Khaire said the priorities are in line with guidelines on promotion of freedom of expression and media pluralism; development of community media; and human resource development (capacity building of media professionals and institutional capacity building). With the facilitator elaborating on the objectives of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC)

Particpamts follow workshop proceedings keenly Detailing more on the IPDC guidelines the facilitator noted that there are five major categories of indicators that can be used to analyse the media development of a country. Each category is broken down into a number of component issues which in turn contain a series of broad indicators. These indicators are an analytic tool designed to help stakeholders assess the state of the media and measure the impact of media development programmes.

“They are diagnostic tools, not commandments – conceptualised with the purpose of assisting media development programmes, not imposing conditionality “said Hamze Khaire

The Dawan media group editor in chief Omar mohamed Farah in blue among participants The guidelines document will be tested and adjusted on the ground by its ultimate intended users – the journalists and news organizations, and citizens’ groups working to strengthen media on the local level.

Among the other notable speakers at the event was the Attorney -general, the director of Academy of peace and development and the director general in the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.

For more on Solja visit its official site 

Watch this site for more details of the workshop

Copyright: Somalilandsun, 2015.