A joint long term training program for 100 Somali Journalists was launched at the Mogadishu Guest House in Mogadishu on Thursday, September 12, 2013 until April 2014 by the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Center for Media Research and Development and the Horn of Africa University, Department of Journalism in partnership with Radio Risaala, Gool FM, Radio Iftin, Royal Television, Star FM, Kulmiye New Network (KNN) Radio, Radio Dhusamareb, Mustaqbal Radio, Access Television, Radio Xamar – Voice of Democracy (VoD), Dalsan Radio, SIMBA Radio, Radio Banadir and Kasmo Radio.
The program, which is the first of its kind launched in Somalia, will run for eight (8) months and 100 Somali journalists, both currently employed journalists and unemployed naïve journalists will benefit directly from program with the aim of enhancing the quality of the journalists and upgrading their professional standards of journalism. 30% of the 100 journalists awarded for receiving the program are female and all of whom will be trained as qualified reporters with different specializations, producers, writers, editors, camera people, technicians among others.
In his opening remarks, the Secretary-General of the National Union of Somali Journalists, Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim stated the training objectives, goals and expected outcome calling it, “The first such program launched for the last two decades.”
“Our aim is to get professionals who can provide quality news to their audience. The more we get professionals, the better.” Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary-General said in his opening remarks, “Such training programs is not limited to this region, we are planning to extend to the whole South/Central Somalia and Puntland shortly”
Mr. Ibrahim thanked Center for Media Research and Development, Horn of Africa University and the partners of the program in standing up jointly by making this program possible, noticing that the more we can join our small resources and power, the better we can make a real difference to the professional capacity of our media workers.
The launching ceremony, which journalists, media bosses, government officials, civil society representatives and other dignitaries were invited, was officially opened by His Excellency, Abdishakur Ali Mire, deputy Minister of Information, Posts, Telecommunication and Transport and called the program, “Timely and convenient.”
The minister highlighted the importance of such program toward the Somali journalists after experiencing two decades of civil unrest and chaos and the need for more professional and learned journalists and praised NUSOJ, CMR and Horn of Africa university for coming up with such very good initiative of training professionals for free, while thanking the partner organizations, noting that the program.
“This is the first ever program I witnessed in terms and it is timely and convenient.” Mr. Abdishakur Ali Mire, deputy minister of information, Posts, Telecommunication and Transport said, “Those of you who had an opportunity for this valuable program are required to focus on the training and as government, we will do every possible means to support this initiative and hope you successful completion.”
The minister underlined that the professional journalists are those who guide their people for the good of their country and hope that once you complete this course that you can contribute to your country.
Representative of Horn of Africa University, Mohamoud A. Nur Mohamed, speaking at the launch ceremony on behalf of the Horn of Africa University stated the importance to be a learned and professional and promised that after the completion of this training program that, “Those interested to promote their educational level, the university will help and facilitate “ and thanked all the partner of this program for their support.
Mr. Ahmed Abdi Eynab, a representative from the Center for Media Research and Development who spoke at the launching ceremony focused on the significance of the program noting that the center is proud to be part of this program for training professionals stating that the center will expand such programs.
Fuad Haji Abdiweli, Director of Royal Television in Mogadishu who spoke on behalf of the program’s partner Televisions at the launching ceremony announced their commitment in providing the trainees studios where they will be interning during the course of their training program. Similarly, Hassan Salad Hasan, Director of Benadir Radio and Abdullahi Ali Farah “Catosh”, Director of SIMBA Radio who spoke on behalf of the program’s partner radio stations and Mrs. Nasro Abdi Bakaal, university graduate journalist at the Dalsan Radio, who spoke on behalf of the volunteer teachers at the launch made pledged similar assurances.
Though the majority of the trainees are unemployed, as part of the union’s strategy to fight against media unemployment and labor related violations and promote the professional standards of the media workers, during the training, the trainees will be given an opportunity to work as an intern at the program’s respective partner media houses and after completion of the program, the participants will be supported in finding decent jobs. The union routinely helped unemployed journalists find jobs both from the local media houses and the international media outlets and helped dozens in this way. In the protection of the rights of media employees, NUSOJ has gone into agreement with some of the major media companies in Mogadishu and is planning to negotiate the few remaining media stations to further protect the rights of its members.
NUSOJ is due to conclude by the end of this month two month camera skills training course which were offered to 12 working journalists. According to the journalists who benefited from the program said that the training course have changed their working style on the camera and upgraded their knowledge about working on the camera.