The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) wishes to state very categorically its position concerning the so-called “Somalia Media Safety Protocol” and “Safety of Journalists Protection Programme” which is fronted and funded by International Media Support (IMS) and FOJO (Media Institute of Linnaeus University).
While such an initiative may appear a noble idea to external people, the reality is far from it.
NUSOJ, its leadership and membership are not part of this so-called “Somalia Media Safety Protocol” and “Safety of Journalists Protection Programme”, and do not endorse them in any away. Any suggestion that this union or its members are supporting them would be misleading and pure misinformation with mischievous intents.
In fact, the so-called “Somalia Media Safety Protocol” was endorsed by media owners or employers who have a proven record of exploiting and abusing journalists inside the media houses by refusing them to pay decent & regular salary, denying journalists to have conducive working conditions and bulling journalists for exercising their legitimate trade union membership right and activities. These media employers are the same persons who failed to fulfil their duty of care when a journalist was either wounded or murdered.
Therefore, the idea of exploiters and abusers of media workers are setting up safety protocols for those they left helplessly is a self-serving sham which adds an insult to injury.
With regard to purported “Safety of Journalists Protection Programme” whose promoters are the same exploitive and abusive media owners/employers with help of IMS, this rather sets new level of manipulation and danger for poor journalists.
This programme will not be benefitted by any journalist in danger who does not have the blessings of his/her employer. Furthermore, a media employer on programme’s committee or with influence in this programme with a grudge against a journalist in danger will simply veto any support to the journalist.
This programme puts journalists under effective patronage or manipulation of media employers, thus giving employers a power to effectively block and bully journalists when the latter want to exercise their legitimate right of participating trade union activity(ies), which involves demanding rights from same media employers.
NUSOJ commenced consultations with like-minded civic organisations, both inside and outside the country, over these new levels of dangers which would affect its member journalists, and will soon take protective measures to tackle their effects.