Media reform consultation with Somali journalists from the UK diaspora now underway
A new consultation on media reform in Somalia is taking place throughout October among Somali journalists and media actors in the UK. The project, called XOG-SUGAN: UK Diaspora Media Consultation, is a five week process that focuses on the broad themes raised by Somalia’s Draft Media Law, and implications for state-building, conflict resolution, the protection of journalists and freedom of speech.
The organisation behind the project, Integrity Research and Consultancy is actively seeking participants from the UK diaspora representing different forms of media, from radio producers to TV presenters, bloggers and print journalists.
The full name of the project is Xog Saxaafadeed U Heelan Garsoor Aaminsan Nabad, which means “˜Informed and accurate media that reinforces peaceful governance’. The consultation will explore themes such as the process of media law-making, journalist safety and the tension between international norms and cultural, social and religious traditions. Key findings will be communicated to the Government of Somalia.
Project manager Khadra Elmi said that “We are aiming to be as diverse, inclusive and equitable as possible to get the broadest inputs into improving media standards in Somalia and among UK Somali media. Although short, we hope that the consultation will provide a platform for Somali journalists to work constructively and collaboratively to raise standards of media activity in general and to give voice to their concerns and aspirations about the role of the media for the long-term development and stability of Somalia.”
The passage of the Draft Media Law in Somalia at this time provides an opportunity for the UK to host consultation and facilitate dialogue among diaspora media actors who are interested and willing to contribute to an improved law-making process in Somalia. The UK is home to a vibrant, thriving and creative media community from Somalia who play an important role in communicating with diverse audiences in Somalia and beyond. The project provides a space for diaspora media actors to provide feedback to the Somali government before the new media law is ratified. Funding for XOG-SUGAN: UK Diaspora Media Consultation has been provided by the UK Government.
Any Somali media actor or journalist from the UK diaspora interested in taking part should visit the online forum at www.xog-sugandiasporaconsultation.co.uk as soon as possible to join discussions around media reform. Through the site, there are also opportunities to apply to participate in London focus groups.
You can also follow the consultation on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Xog-Sugan-UK-Diaspora-Consultation/1396584113906608 and on Twitter via @XogSuganUK