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New COVID-19 guidance published for journalists and media houses in Somalia

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Advices for journalists and media houses

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has today published new guidance (advices) setting out how journalists and media houses in Somalia can meet their media duties as they navigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the announcement by the government to impose curfew on Mogadishu, NUSOJ made representation to the Federal Government and appealed for the government to categorise the media as “essential services” that will not be restricted during the curfew. The union justified how journalists must be regarded as vital keyworkers in times of crisis. In less than 24 hours, government responded positively to NUSOJ’s appeal and the Prime Minister of Somalia Hassan Ali Khaire officially classified the media as essential services.

In light of this positive development, NUSOJ releases this new guidance which will give journalists and media houses a set of useful advices to ensure safe and responsible journalism during the fight against COVID19 pandemic.

“Ensuring media is categorised as essential service was one important win for us in this situation as we wanted to ensure that those journalists who are doing vital public interest journalism reporting the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, are able to go about their work without interference or restriction” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

In this crisis, NUSOJ intends to highlight why quality journalism, which is using unfettered access to information, is vital and the huge role that Somali journalists and their media houses are playing in providing information to the citizenry and working with relevant authorities.

Download the full guidance here.