Thursday, November 21, 2019
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Back to school for Somali journalists

Somalia’s journalism faculty is home to classes of undergraduates, but a new programme targets working journalists – much needed in a country where generations of journalist have received no formal education

“I hope I will get useful knowledge from this course, to become even more professional in my journalistic career.”

Ikram Dahir Abdirahman is one of the fortunate media workers who secured one of the first spots at a diploma course offered by the Journalism Faculty of the Somali National University. The course is initiated in collaboration with International Media Support and Fojo Media Institute.

After a total collapse of the academic space in Somalia due to the civil war, the journalism faculty reopened in 2017, after a hiatus of 26 years. Today the faculty is home to three classes of undergraduate students, and its newest programme is a diploma course for working journalists – a much needed addition in a country where generations of journalist have received no formal education.

“The course will focus on safety of journalists, digital journalism, investigative journalism as well as media law and ethics. We chose these areas based on the biggest gaps among working Somali journalists,” says Abdulkadir Diesow, dean of the faculty.

Other subjects include media sociology, principals of media, computer skills and Somali language.

The new diploma course is a great step forward on the way towards a more safe and professionalised media, which is a main focus in IMS and Fojo’s Media Programme in Somalia. Through efforts such as the improvement of education, the programme aims to strengthen high-quality journalism as a means of supporting democratic developments in the country. 

Another very important priority of IMS and Fojo’s Media Programme is to enhance gender equality in the Somali media industry. In the diploma course, which runs until the end of July 2020, 15 out of 46 journalists will be women.  

Source: IMS

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