Garowe, Puntland, Somalia: 4th-01-2016:- Media Association of Puntland (MAP) in collaboration with United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Garowe opened a two-days (4th-5th Jan 2016) workshop 25 journalist drawn from across the Puntland media outlets. The seminar held at the UNSOM compound will focus on Personal Safety, Reporting on the New Deal, State Building and Political Process.
Howard Bell remarked on the importance ‘’urged the participants to play a key role in promoting state building since the media is the ‘’fourth pillar estate’’, especially when it comes to educating the public on the ‘’new deal’’ – noting the importance of the Somali new deal compact, adding that journalist when reporting should practice a sense of equality between facts and opinion‘’ said the senior coordinator from UNSOM.
MAP chair urged the media practitioners on the importance on the safety of journalists and the need of Journalist to practice of the knowledge gained from safety training ‘’to practice good journalism we need to maintain high ethical standards which will definitely contribute to your safety as journalists and also promote media positive contribution in state-building and that of the political processes, I urge you (participants) to actively participate in this important training that I surely believe will contribute to our professional standards of journalism in Puntland’’ added Khalif.
Puntland Minister of information who officially opened the workshop noted ‘’ Somalia is on a transitional period as we wait for national elections August 2016, it is hence important that journalists should get prepared and promote state-building, i also pledge that my ministry will be available for any support needed by the journalists in-line of their work”, said Mr. Mohamud Soo’ade.
The Media Association of Puntland applauds the importance of such training more-so in a period that Somalia prepares for national elections. These kinds of initiatives elevates the capacity that Puntland media sector requires and highly appreciated.
The media can play a positive role in democracy only if there is an enabling environment that allows them to do so. They need the requisite skills for the kind of in-depth reporting that a new democracy requires.
There should also be mechanisms to ensure they are held accountable to the public and that ethical and professional standards are upheld. Democracy requires the active participation of citizens. Ideally, the media should keep citizens engaged in the business of governance by informing, educating and mobilizing the public.