HARGEISA, Somalia, 20 October 2011 – Correct information is essential to accurate reporting, Ahmed Ali Mohamed, a trainer for Radio Ergo, recently told a gathering of 27 Somali journalists at a five-day multimedia workshop on humanitarian reporting held in Hargeisa.
“Somali Journalists have a lot of missing knowledge,” said Mr. Mohamed. “For example, they report on food distribution and press conferences but often don’t go to the field and assess first-hand what the population is experiencing or needs.”
Focus on children
A collaboration between the humanitarian radio service, Radio Ergo, and UNICEF Somalia, the workshop endeavoured to equip journalists with the essential skills needed to better report on crisis situations.
Through its daily one-hour programmes, Radio Ergo broadcasts vital information to Somali listeners within the country and in bordering refugee camps. A recent Radio Ergo survey said the service is listened to by 70 per cent of Somalis.
While Radio Ergo provided workshop attendees with their journalistic expertise, UNICEF highlighted the dire impact the Horn of Africa crisis is having on children, specifically, in the areas of nutrition, water and sanitation, education and child protection.
“There is no doubt that children are the hardest hit by the drought and famine in Somalia,” explained UNICEF Somalia Communication Officer Iman Morooka. “So our aim is to help journalists to understand the consequences of this crisis on children, and help them cover issues children are facing on the ground in an ethical and humanitarian way.”
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