WIMISOM Organizes Training for Journalists on Countering Hate Speech During Elections in Bosaso

WIMISOM organized in Bosaso a 3-day Training for Journalists on Conflict-sensitive Reporting and Countering Hate Speech during Elections. The training was held for twenty journalists from different media houses in Bosaso.

Head of the Program at WIMISOM Yahya Mohamed spoke of the importance of this training at this time, and the role journalists and the media can play in tackling falsehood reports and countering hate speech.

The training objective was to enhance journalists’ understanding of identifying patterns of hate speech and misinformation in this sensitive period of popular elections. The training also aims to enhance journalists’ skills in exercising responsibility during reporting during the election period and avoiding inflammatory reporting and incitement. The training intended to build the capacity of journalists’ skills in engaging in responsible and conflict-sensitive reporting in the context of elections and a heated political environment.

The participants were trained in skills related to avoiding inaccurate information, falsehoods, and hate speech. The reporters were also taught how to prevent and control hate speech during the critical period of elections, especially the local council elections in Puntland which are scheduled for May of this year.

During the sessions of the training, participants engaged in group discussions to facilitate brainstorming and learning with feedback and contribution from the trainers. The sessions of the training also facilitated experience sharing among themselves with the backdrop of previous elections and the challenges that come with covering and reporting on popular elections.

The training intends to improve their understanding of the role of media during local government elections including fact-checking, information gathering, and responsible reporting in the different stages of elections. This will contribute to enhancing journalists’ skills in exercising responsibility during reporting in the sensitive election cycle and avoiding inflammatory reporting and hate speech.

On the final day, the Regional Officer of the Bari region for the Puntland Ministry of Information Shucayb Yuusuf Ciise made a few remarks at the closing & awarded the trainees certificates of participation on behalf of WIMISOM.

The officer advised the journalists who received the training to take the knowledge they gained from the training back to their workplaces and implement it during the upcoming elections. The officer also highlighted the momentous responsibility of reporting on elections which requires diligence, accuracy, and reliability. They urged the journalists to make responsible reporting a priority during coverage of the local government elections and to take election-related information from credible and official sources.

The training was implemented with support from the United Nations Support Office in Somalia – UNSOM