Garowe Puntland, JUL 21, 2016: In preparation of the forthcoming national elections, a three-day Journalist skills training on electoral processes and reporting, commenced on the 17-19 July 2016 concluded today in Garowe, at the New-rays Hotel conference hall in Garowe the administrative capital of the Puntland State of Somalia. Thirty Journalists from print, radio and TV that were drawn from-across the Puntland regions media outlets.
This seminar that was organized by the Media Association of Puntland (MAP) supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), was aimed at enhancing the capacity of Puntland journalists through a three-day training focusing on skills that enhance their ability to cover electoral processes.
“Covering elections is different from casing other occasions as it involves giving equivalent broadcast to all political parties to help them publicize their manifestos and campaign agendas”, said MAP chair at his opening remarks.
Director General of the Puntland Ministry of Information, culture and heritage, the guest of honor on at his opening remarks welcomed the event’s initiative urging the participants to keenly participate and pick up the knowledge and practice decent journalism during the upcoming elections
”you should balance your news as much as possible, i strongly advise you to consistently cross-check testimony before publishing and not to forget that you are the eyes and ears of the public by definition, across all points of view and all opinions’’ said Director General of the Puntland Ministry of Information, culture and heritage, Mr. Mowlid Abukar!
During the training, the facilitator conducted discussions on participant understanding of media ethics, including the concepts of objectivity and impartiality in reporting. Participants reviewed electoral rules and legal guidelines for access to information, as well as how to obtain data critical to story development and preparation for interviews.
The workshop also focused on practical aspects of the forthcoming elections, Participants worked on how to design and organize relevant practical exercises. Workshop also included discussions about the code of ethics in place and a rehearsal was made over the existing Puntland’s Journalists code of ethics on elections. Participants were encouraged to find practical solutions, to increase the quality of media coverage on the electoral processes within the Somali Public and media environment.
MAP chair at his closing comments mentioned, ‘’I want to pleasantly acknowledge your dedications for last three-days meanwhile let’s maintain professional standards as always by way of we approach to cover the general elections ahead, Said Faisal.
The Project promoting media sustainability in Puntland is funded by the National Endowment for democracy was launched on April 2016 and will run for a year. The project’s objective is to enhance the sustainability of an independent media sector through trainings on accountability, equality and free and fair elections and to promote media legislation that supports freedom of expression and independent media.
Media Association of Puntland (MAP) will use Endowment support to conduct media trainings, media stakeholder meetings and advocacy as part of its effort to improve the capacity of the sector and promote freedom of expression in Puntland. The Endowment will also provide core support for ongoing advocacy, media monitoring, and servicing member requests.