SOMALIA / ELECTIONS REPORTING TRAINING

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09-Nov-2020 00:07:18
Ahead of Somalia’s elections, the importance of the media’s role in the upcoming electoral process was centre-stage as a group of journalists gathered for an intensive, United Nations-backed training on strengthening their reporting on elections and voter education. UNSOM

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Story: SOMALIA / ELECTIONS REPORTING TRAINING
TRT: 7:18
SOURCE: UNSOM
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: / NATS

DATELINE: 09 NOVEMBER 2020, MOGADISHU, SOMALIA

SHOTLIST:

09 NOVEMBER 2020, MOGADISHU, SOMALIA

1. Wide shot, Jazeera Hotel conference room
2. Wide shots, journalists and panelists attending the three-day training workshop organized by the Federation of Somalia Journalists (FESOJ) and supported by the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM)
3. Close up, journalists from various Somali media outlets and working across various platforms, including television, radio and online channels at the workshop.
4. Pan shot, journalists from various Somali media outlets and working across various platforms, at the workshop
5. SOUNDBITE (Somali) Abdirashid Mohamed Hashi, Director of Communications, Office of the President, Somalia:
“Election periods are serious and historic moments and it is important for journalists to learn how to report on them. I think two scenarios can be the most interesting and sensitive to learn about – the first one is when reporting amid conflict, especially in areas affected by conflict; and the second is at the polling stations, which are also sensitive locations when it comes to reporting on how things are going.”
6. Close ups, journalists from various Somali media outlets and working across various platforms at the workshop
7. SOUNDBITE (Somali) Abaadir Abdulkadir Elmi, President, Federation of Somalia Journalists (FESOJ):
“Today, we are conducting here a training regarding best way of covering elections in Somalia. Attended by 25 journalists from various media outlets. After this training, reporters will apply gained knowledge to their daily activities. This training is important for Somali journalists, as the country is once again going to indirect polls and people need to understand more about the elections. As the election coverage is involved by both new and former media practitioners, we decided to empower them. We thank UNSOM for supporting this training and FESUJ for implementing it.”
8. Various shots, journalists from various Somali media outlets and working across various platforms at the workshop
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Ari Gaitanis, Chief of Strategic Communication, United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM):
“As Somalia prepares to hold elections, the United Nations strongly highlights the need to ensure the country’s political space remains open allowing for a diversity of voices and views to be expressed as part of the democratic process.”
10. Pan right, journalists from various Somali media outlets and working across various platforms at the workshop
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Ari Gaitanis, Chief of Strategic Communication, United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM):
“Democracy is more than the holding of elections; it also means ensuring a country’s political space allows for everyone to take part and, as I stress, the media has a key role to play in this. Fact-based news and analysis depend on the work of journalists conducting independent reporting, rooted in the fundamental tenet which is: ‘journalism without fear or favour.”
12. Various shots, participants at workshop
13. SOUNDBITE (Somali) Fardowsa Mohamed Sahal, journalist, Galmudug Television:
"It’s my first time attending this kind of training, and I’m optimistic about gaining a lot from the facilitators providing the teaching. Media outlets provide information to the public and if the election isn’t reported well, then the public will not understand what’s happening. But if the election is covered fairly and professionally, the public will have a chance to know of the elections’ integrity.”
14. Med shot, journalists at the workshop
15. Med shot, participants at podium
14. SOUNDBITE (Somali) Hassan Ali Osman, journalist, Kalfadhi:
"I think good reporting is significant, simply because people need to hear different opinions, such as the opinions of leaders running for office and their platforms, as well as the outcome of the elections.”
15. Wide shot, attendees at workshop

STORYLINE:

Ahead of Somalia’s elections, the importance of the media’s role in the upcoming electoral process was centre-stage as a group of journalists gathered for an intensive, United Nations-backed training on strengthening their reporting on elections and voter education.

“Election periods are serious and historic moments and it is important for journalists to learn how to report on them. I think two scenarios can be the most interesting and sensitive to learn about – the first one is when reporting amid conflict, especially in areas affected by conflict; and the second is at the polling stations, which are also sensitive locations when it comes to reporting on how things are going,” said the Office of the President of Somalia’s Director of Communications, Abdirashid Mohamed Hashi, at the start of the capacity development sessions held at a venue in the capital, Mogadishu.

Supported by the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), and organized by the Federation of Somalia Journalists (FESOJ), the three-day training brought together more than two dozen journalists from various Somali media outlets with a presence in the capital and working across various platforms, including television, radio and online channels.

The journalists are receiving training in areas ranging from the need for neutrality to the uses of opinion polls. The aim is to enhance the journalists’ skills, allowing them to better report on the country’s impending elections and, consequently, improve the general public’s understanding of the electoral process. In addition to practical skills, there will be a specific focus on the theoretical aspects and approaches to covering elections.

“After this training, reporters will apply the knowledge they have gained in their daily activities. This training is important for Somali journalists, as the country is once again going to indirect polls and people need to understand more about the elections,” said FESOJ’s President Abaadir Abdulkadir Elmi.

Asides from the substantive elements of reporting on elections, the training will also include covering elections in volatile security situations. Various international media associations have spoken out about the challenges members of the media face in going about their work in Somalia, including in their dealings with authorities and targeting by Al-Shabaab terrorists.

The United Nations in Somalia has previously highlighted the role the media play in Somali society, and how they need to be able to carry out their work free from violence, harassment, detention, persecution, intimidation and censorship, especially as the country prepares for elections.

In his remarks at the opening today, UNSOM’s Chief of Strategic Communications, Ari Gaitanis, spoke about the Somali media’s important role.

He said, “As Somalia prepares to hold elections, the United Nations strongly highlights the need to ensure the country’s political space remains open allowing for a diversity of voices and views to be expressed as part of the democratic process.”

Gaitanis added, “Democracy is more than the holding of elections; it also means ensuring a country’s political space allows for everyone to take part and, as I stress, the media has a key role to play in this,” he added. “Fact-based news and analysis depend on the work of journalists conducting independent reporting, rooted in the fundamental tenet: ‘journalism without fear or favour.’”

At today’s opening, attendees voiced their eagerness to start with the training.

"I think good reporting is significant, simply because people need to hear different opinions, such as the opinions of leaders running for office and their platforms, as well as the outcome of the elections,” said Hassan Ali Osman, a journalist with Kalfadhi, an independent news platform covering parliamentary and governance issues.

"It’s my first time attending this kind of training, and I’m optimistic about gaining a lot from the facilitators providing the teaching. Media outlets provide information to the public and if the election isn’t reported well, then the public will not understand what’s happening. But if the election is covered fairly and professionally, the public will have chance to know of the elections’ integrity,” said Fardowsa Mohamed Sahal, a journalist with Galmudug Television.
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unifeed201109c
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2580041