By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The Government is not implementing the Somaliland parliament approved media laws thence regular confrontations with members of the fourth estate.
This was the unanimous consensus of journalists and media houses at a meeting organized by the Somaliland Non State Actors Forum-SONSAF at Hargeisa Mansoor hotel where participants were also undivided on the need for harmonizing the very many journalists’ welfare organizations into one solid and strong body.
While officially opening the session, the Chairman of the Somaliland Journalists Association-SOLJA Mr. Hasan Mohamed Yusuf who thanked SONSAF for taking the initiative of probing avenues of enhancing the proper and confrontation free news and information provision in the country also apologized for a press statement castigating the Forum released by his organization.
“My presence here is testimony to the fact that SOLJA is wholly supportive to the inventiveness of SOINSAF in designing joint strategies to deter further acrimonies between the government and media houses in Somaliland”
Chairman Yusuf was referring to a Monday evening statement released by SOLJA a castigating SONSAF for interfering in issues that are not in its preserve after the later body extended invitation to print and electronic Media houses for the way forward brainstorming meeting held today the 30th Jan in Hargeisa.
Addressing meeting participants the chairman of SONSAF Mustafa Sa’ad Dhibil said the objectives of the session was to facilitate the country’s fourth estate deliberate “on prevalent status of their trade, relationship with the government and come up with recommendations for the way forward”
Terming the journalists congregation as the onus of future models of development of the Somaliland fourth estate the SONSAF chair indicate the agenda as:
• Discussions on prevalent status of the fourth estate in the country
• Plenary presentation of major difficulties encumbering private media houses and their journalists and Development of strategies to negate them
• Make arrangements and agree on modalities of a SONSAF proposed meeting between media and stakeholders and
• Come with recommendations for the way forward
He also revealed that the next meeting shall include members of the public as participants in order to derive their views on how they perceive service provision by local media houses as well as elicit their recommendations for betterment.
“I hope that you, journalists shall be prepared to face the public and swallow their views on your performance” said Dhibil.
Speaker after speaker among them the head of SSJW and Chief Editor of Hatuuf group of newspapers Mr. Yusuf Gabobe, Chair of WIJA M/s Ayaan Abdirizaq and Kadar Akule of the new Union of Somaliland Journalists stressed on the need for concerted efforts to ensure that media laws are implemented to the letter and Journalists perform ethically.
After tea break and begin of plenary debate the first coup in the country for over 40 years took place when Hussein Ali Nuur a long time journalist currently editor of Republican a weekly English newspaper and AP Stringer who upon arguing that the oratory courtesy of the rich Somali language will ensue with non accomplishment of objectives removed the SONSAF designated facilitator.
True to the adage “Wisdom and Experience Comes with Age” once on the seat Hussein Ali Nuur managed to bring the meeting to cohesion thence timely completion assisted by his suggestion that each participant jot down recommendations and a committee appointed to collate them for presentation during the planned next parley.
Related Article: Somaliland: SOLJA and SONSAF in Media Reform Tug of War