WIMISOM organized a three-day Training for Journalists on Reporting on Puntland Local Government Elections in Bosaso. The training was held for twenty-five journalists from different media houses in Bari region. The training was held from 24 to 26 of December 2022. The training is intended to enhance journalists’ understanding of the Puntland electoral system, election laws, election reporting procedures, the role of the media in election coverage, and the safety of journalists during elections. The training also intended to improve journalist capacity in providing effective coverage to female candidates in line with increasing political participation of women.
In her opening remarks on the first day of the training, WIMISOM Executive Director Nasro Abdirisak Ahmed stated the objective of the training and the role of journalists in covering the planned local government elections in Puntland. Nasro underlined the work of the organization in improving the capacity of journalists especially female journalists. She emphasized the importance of capable and competent journalists for good governance and democracy.
Chairperson of TPEC Office of Bari Region Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamud appreciated the work of the media and he has praised them for their close collaboration with the election committee. The chairperson stated that he is hopeful that the training will be impactful and contribute to improving the reporting capacity of journalists. He encouraged journalists to work responsibly during elections.
Regional Officer of Bari Region for Puntland Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology, Tourism, Heritage and Culture Shuceyb Yusuf Muse encouraged journalists to take the training and apply what they learn to their work and in practicing their profession. He emphasized the importance of continuous learning and training for advancing professionals especially in the media industry.
Regional Officer of Bari Region for Puntland Women Development and Family Affairs Ayaan Muuse Nuur has appreciated the efforts and work of WIMISOM in organizing this training at this important time, she stated that journalists should endeavor to give platform and space to female candidates especially rural communities.
During the sessions of the training, participants engaged in group discussions to facilitate brain storming 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 will contribute to improving the journalists’ 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 result in enhancing journalists’ skills in exercising responsibility during reporting in the sensitive election cycle and avoiding inflammatory reporting.
The training comes at a time when the Transitional Puntland Elections Committee TPEC is planning to begin registration in three regions of Bari, Gardafuu and Karkaar on the 5th of January 2023, with local government elections to follow.
The journalists appreciated the effort of WIMISOM and the support of UNSOM, in creating such a learning opportunity for them, and they have pledged to put into use what they learned from the training and to conduct their work professionally with regard to existing guidelines and with knowledge of election legal framework and consideration of the local context and reality.
The training was implemented with support from the United Nations Support Office in Somalia – UNSOM.