Despite all difficulties, Somali journalists have been experiencing, forbidding journalists from posting their opinions on social media and censoring their personal facebook accounts is not only unprecedented offense but also clear violation of freedom of expression.
In this unrest, hostile and often explosive environment, journalists and media organization’s face immense challenges. In the last month two decades, Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. Media outlets came under pressure from the governmental institutions and clans elders when they attempted to report Sensitive issues including the country’s most recent religiously motivated violence’s and conflicts in across South and Central Somalia for example, regional governmental institutions and regional states composed an across-the-board ban on airing interviews with rebels and imprisoned journalists who violated the edict.
On the other side, journalists reporting Somalia’s conflicts face near constant killings, threats and harassments by the Islamic insurgents. Alshabab considers most members of the press to be supporters of the government and thus potential targets. Radio dominates the Somali Media sector, although print publications, online websites and a handful broadcasting television stations exist.
Although, the number of Science journalists is small in across Somalia since the formation of the Somali Media for Environment, Science, Health, Agriculture and Arrivals (SOMESHAA) in which is a member of the World Federation of Science journalists (WFSJ). The current number of science journalists 15 including few number like five (5) people who are science communicators and working UN Agencies and the federal government institutions. The working conditions of local journalists have always been utterly deplorable with most of them working without contract, sick leave or annual leave. Journalists are also underpaid and work excessive hours without compensation. There are many journalists that are employed under “fame for work scheme” imposed by media owners and managers which means employment without payment. Under this scheme, journalists are convinced to work without pay or incentives until they become well-known.
However, there is no globalized or well developed and organized science journalism workshops ever happened in Somalia though two more times local journalists met SOMESHAA’s training’s for Science topics reporting including health, agriculture, climate change, environmental health conditions and the renewed draughts and famine.
By: Daud Abdi Daud “JOURD”
Science journalist and media trainer