The Academy for Peace and Development conducted a successful two day Journalism Workshop entitled ‘Bridging the Gap Between Media and Community’ at the Guled Hotel and Restaurant. APD recently launched the Mobile Audio Visual Unit (MAVU) in which accompanying Journalist are provided with an opportunity to receive training on methods of placing focus and attention of news items on community-related issues. Accompanying Journalists during the MAVU mapping exercises were provided with a chance to study methods of acquiring vital concerns of district residents through open-forum and focus group discussions and relay these messages through all sources of media outlets.
The Academy for Peace and Development invited 9 television stations, 15 newspapers, Hargeisaradio station, about a dozen websites and Journalism students from various Universities focusing specifically on Somaliland social and community related affairs. APD were fortunate to have two highly distinguished guest speakers, Hussein Ali Nour and Hassan Heiss to provide their expertise knowledge on the roles and responsibilities of Journalist to report issues concerning all communities in Somaliland.
The Journalism Workshop was opened by the Deputy Minister of Information, Abdiwhab Abdiquder Abdirahman who stated, “There is a major gap between the media and community. We all understand that, now we have to work on building the bridge that is going to close this gap and become socially productive for both you and your respected communities.”
The Project Coordinator at APD, Ahmed Deria presented an interactive presentation entitled, “Freedom of Expression”. The two-day workshop provided a platform for all the journalist and journalism students to interact with each other and gather information highlighted during the open and FGD. The MAVU team also had a small presentation were the lead researcher Abdirahman Ahmed explained the importance of the role of journalist in relaying messages to isolate and rural areas.
He presented them with news clips, videos, and pictures of community related issues and experiences they had during their six region mapping exercise in which a journalist accompanied them.
On the second day of the workshop the participants were able to watch a Mock Presentation by senior Journalist who scripted and performed the headlines for today’s news and the social impact of minorities during the cold and winter season. The Journalist was able to reenact their own stories in small groups of five with different community related topics.Some issues that came up during the open forum discussions were an absence of ethical guidelines, whereby journalists may be held accountable, and patience from a government in need of journalism to prompt further productivity; renders the current media situation as a national challenge.
The two-day Journalism workshop concluded with all participants having an opportunity to go onstage and give their recommendations and evaluations of the entire workshop. The Journalism workshop concluded with the Executive Director of the Academy for Peace and Development, Mohamed Farah Hersi thanking the Journalist and Journalism students for participating in a vital workshop on behalf of the community. He stated, “The media reports are 90% based on political coverage, what we want to accomplish from this two day workshop is to remind the media that it is their duty and privilege to increase reporting on community based issues. The media has always been working side by side with the Academy for Peace and Development relaying issues that are connected to our three Pillars for Peace; Democratization, Decentralization, and Social Reconciliation.
We hope that the main benefit you will receive from this Journalism workshop will inspire you to release more coverage’s on community related issues.”