Somaliland: Media Going Down the Drain


Editorial of The Horn Tribune English weekly newspaper which is published in Hargeisa every Sunday by the Government owned Dawan Media Group

Every once in a while, we are disgusted to find that our local media is tending to slide back to gutter press, rather than going ISO scale.

Worse of all what propels this trend, if we call a spade by its rightful name, is the devilish drive of either monetary or tribalism.

Irresponsible press that does not verify or attribute its authenticity has sadly become part of our tradition. Whether it is in print (as in newspapers) or electronic (as in radio, cyber, TVs etc), we are day in day out going down the drain.

Given the latest spate of tribal innuendoes and inclinations pronounced on daily basis in the press, it seems that it is now spinning out of control.

The information minister have just released a statement decrying the trend of splashing news, sentiments or issues bordering the fact that the state’s executive arm have coerced its sister judicial limb on the outcome of the aid diversion crime case that have now convicted the culprits.

So too, have he denounced the Kulmiye cliché who opted to wash dirty linen in public rather than use better moral conduits to thrash out differences.

On the other hand, no sooner have the new finance chief settled down on his holsters have distracters cried foul.

Going by Dawan’s Editorial of yesterday 9th June 2012, the naming of Gurhan as the new Berbera customs boss has unruffled feathers.

If the outcry is not tribally based, wasn’t the same man in charge of the income tax of the whole area?

If it is not tribally based, doesn’t Samaale have the authority to post officials as he deems fit?

We know that practically and technically lack of sufficient funds to produce news renders the reports partial.

Thus if the reporters’ pay is meager or the house media is cash strapped, then alas, down the drain goes all the integrity.

Coming back to the Hamarji and company case, we know that there are better means of addressing the issue, whether it is through interest groups like the next of kin, human rights associations or good governance agency, they have their chances of lodging appeals and straightening the wrongs, if their were any at all.

To go to suspect press some of who have no accrediting papers and are completely unknown or are not even around hence by space to air abrasive claims whose effects are more than potentially explosive, is just a time bomb.

In the same breath, we would appeal to Hon. Boobe to use his wand and cleanse the media industry in the country hence put it in order.

We are off-course quite against the muzzling of the media and have always been against it. But at the same time would not shy away from telling off our colleagues.

People should put up real shops or quit.

Maligning people with ill-motivated intents would never endear nor auger well for our future in journalism or public relations.

We believe in uprightness such that our journalism should be based on patriotic self-esteem and developmental aspects as regards social, political, educational and environmental aspects.

When highlighting issues, we should ask ourselves whether we are pep-ossifiying or breaking our skeletal frames.

Are we building or breaking Somaliland? The press should know better, of course, whether they stand for tribal, monetary or integral features.