SOMA and MWN conducted symposium on the role media stations Directors could take in balancing journalists reporting of Covid-19 articles 

Mogadishu, Wednesday September 17, 2020: The Somali Media Association (SOMA) and Media Women Network (MWN) has jointly organized and conducted one-day symposium on the role media stations Directors could take in balancing journalists reporting of Covid-19 articles.

The symposium held in Hotel Afrik in Mogadishu city on September 16, 2020 was focusing on to open discussion with the media directors on the need of providing both female and male journalists balanced opportunities of reporting the Covid-19 related stories.

Representatives from SOMA, MWN, SOMWIM, SJS, FESOJ, Banadir Regional Director, Directors of Radio kulmiye , Goobjoog  FM, Radio Hiigsi Radio Kaah, Director Galmudug -TV, Director of SBC TV- Mogadishu Branch and journalists were the key participants in the Symposium event.

The symposium was aiming to provide platform for discussing the theme focusing on equal opportunities of reporting the Covid-19 related stories and to find out solutions for those issues affecting women in the media.

In the opening remarks, Nafisa Hirsi, Chairlady of Media Women Nework (MWN) explained that the Symposium is intending to have open discussions with the media directors as decision makers to encourage equal role for women journalists in reporting Covid-19 related radio broadcasts. “There is need to train female journalists in reporting features on the pandemic diseases.” She added.

“The SOMA association consisting of more than 30 member media houses is permanently prepared to take active role in the empowerment of women journalists.” Mohamed Abduwahab, Secretary General of SOMA said. He added that women journalists are required to make more efforts to be  visible in the profession of journalism and seek their due rights.

Abdalla Mumin, Secretary General of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) pointed out that the editors are responsible to assign journalists to report on Covid-19. He explained female journalists are less compared to their male colleagues in the field of reporting Covid-19, however, reports on the pandemic prepared by women journalists are described to be more trusted.

“In monitoring process conducted by FESOJ, it was observed that there is need to increase female reporters to encourage coverage of gender news including coverage of Covid-19.”  Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, Secretary General of FESOJ explained.

The major participants’ deliberations at the Symposium Forum were:-

  • The Symposium provided opportunity with the media directors to discuss and debate on their role of balancing journalists in reporting Covid -19 articles.
  • Women Journalists Organizations to campaign and advocate for appealing media managers to encourage women journalists
  • There is need to provide women journalists on job training to achieve increased number of women in reporting Covid- stories
  • Media Women Network (MWN) vowed to initiative and provide on job training to female journalists to increase the number of women journalists in reporting Covid19 stories, assured to continue conducting similar symposiums in future.
  • There are female journalists participating in preparing and transmitting radio messages prepared by SOMA on Covid-19
  • Women journalists to come up with new initiatives to be supported by the media managers for achieving balance in reporting Covid-19.
  • It’s suggested the newsroom to be based on gender balance, especially media management, editing, reporting to make women journalists part of the newsroom tasks.
  • There is no women holding position of Media Director
  • The media organizations to cooperate and support women journalists
  • Media Women Network and SOMA will set up joint committee to monitor the media stations and assess the situation of female journalists
  • For encouragement , there is need to provide incentives and proper media equipments to women journalists going out for reporting assignments
  • The media law does not specify the rights of women journalists , and there is need for include specification of percentage of women each station should have

It was suggesting to issue declaration of practical action to be signed by all media managers and stakeholders.