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Australian-Backed Program Elevates Somali Journalists in Investigative Journalism Excellence

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15 March 2024: In strategic partnership with the Australian High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) wraps up a three-day training program in Mogadishu from 13 to 15 March 2024, focusing on enhancing the craft of investigative journalism and empowering Somali journalists with essential skills and knowledge.

Fifteen promising journalists were chosen from a pool of applicants from Mogadishu and various Federal Member States (FMSs), representing the diverse fabric of Somali society and demonstrating a profound commitment to the noble profession of journalism.

The training program was crafted to encompass a wide array of essential topics crucial to the practice of investigative journalism. Over the course of three intensive days, participants were introduced to subjects such as investigative journalism fundamentals, research methodologies and data analysis, ethical considerations and responsible reporting, source development and safeguarding, story development and composition, digital investigative tools and technologies, as well as safety and security measures tailored specifically for investigative journalists operating in challenging environments.

Under the expert guidance of Missing Perspectives, a renowned organization dedicated to empowering journalists worldwide, participants had the invaluable opportunity to receive technical training and mentorship from three distinguished media professionals. These included Gaven Morris, a highly respected Australian investigative journalist and news executive; Watsemba Miriam, an award-winning documentary photojournalist from Uganda, renowned for her poignant storytelling and impactful visual narratives; and Yusuf Hassan Isaq, a seasoned former BBC journalist with a stellar track record in journalism, offering invaluable insights and guidance drawn from his extensive career.

Omar Faruk Osman, Secretary General of NUSOJ, emphasized the importance of equipping Somali journalists with investigative reporting skills to report on crucial topics, promote accountability and transparency and uncover corruption, societal issues and hold those in power accountable.

“This training has armed Somali journalists with indispensable skills to unearth the truth and drive substantial change. In the tumultuous landscape of Somalia, these competencies are crucial for safeguarding media freedom and preserving integrity, essential elements in our relentless pursuit to embolden journalists to effect meaningful societal impact, especially in the realm of fearless journalism,” added Osman.

The successful completion of this training program signifies a significant achievement in the campaign to professionalize the media and empower Somali journalists with the skills needed for in-depth investigations and positive societal change. As these newly trained journalists return to their work, the union expects to see a renewed energy in investigative reporting, promoting media freedom and accountability in Somalia.