Garowe, Feb 08, 2021: The Media Association of Puntland (MAP), in partnership with the International media institute (IMS) & Fojo media institute has successfully concluded a 4-day journalism course aimed at sharpening the skills of local media practitioners on personal safety and election coverage.
Held at the SAME hotel located in Garowe from the February 3-6, the workshop was attended by 20 journalists drawn from the Print, Radio, and TV news outlets situated in Nugaal, Mudug, and Sool regions of the Puntland State of Somalia.
The training is one of the planned dual seminars tailored for Somali media to boost the skills of journalists ahead of the upcoming national elections, targeting practitioners working and based in the main cities of the Puntland.
At the inaugural session of the training, Mohamed Dahir, MAP chair gave a welcome speech and a brief on the objectives of the workshop. Present at the opening was guest of honor Engineer Mohamed Isse, Director General of the Puntland Ministry of information, and Abukar Al-Badri, personnel from the International Media Support (IMS) also gave opening speeches to the participants.
Dahir on the objectives of the workshop said ”Through this training, we aim at sharpening the skills of local journalists on personal safety and election coverage, it is important that journalists are aware of the risks surrounding them when covering elections and to also be accurate the media must be knowledgeable on the election processes in order to keep the public well informed” said MAP chair.
The chair also noted that participants would also receive an election reporting guide developed by the International Media Support (IMS) to help media practitioners when covering elections. Dahir praised the IMS for their continuous aid in developing the local media especially in critical times when knowledge is most needed.
”During the election, the media faces many challenges due to the sensitivity of the election. Journalists face risks both from external actors, additionally, a times challenges also come from the internal within the newsroom such as disputes between the media executive and the journalist. I want you to pay attention to this training so that you can get the knowledge that will help you in your work’’ Said Abukar Al Badri of IMS.
The training was officially opened by the Director-General of the Puntland Ministry of information, Eng, Mohamed Isse who also spoke to the participants and commended MAP’s work in enhancing the capacity of the local journalists. Isse also thanked IMS for supporting Puntland Journalists over the years.
The trainees found the training course immensely rewarding and it allowed them to gain specific skills that will contribute to their personal safety and covering stories elections, more so in a complex context.
On the last day of the training, participants got a speech from the invited guest – Mr. Gulled Salah, Chairman of the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission Guled’s appearance was vital, he shared the work of the organization he is leading and called for the media to step up its role in promoting democracy.
Finally, participants received the course attendance certificates and packed them to perform their duties safely and accurately.
MAP recognizes that the promotion of journalists’ safety and the battle against impunity must not be limited to follow-up action. Alternatively, preventive measures and actions are required to resolve some of the root causes of violence against journalists and impunity.
The Association continues its effort in enhancing the capacity of the local media through specialized training including in-house mentorship programs. The next safety and election coverage training is scheduled this week and will benefit journalists in Bosaso and neighboring towns.