April 28, 2010 ·2 Comments
HARGEISA (Somalilandpress) — Representatives of Somaliland’s leading media houses signed a media code of conduct yesterday governing the behavior of journalists covering the June presidential elections.
The ceremony, which was held at Ambassador Hotel in Hargeisa yesterday, brought an end to a two-day training workshop co-organized by Interpeace and Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission (NEC), bringing together more than 50 journalists representing all of Somaliland’s press agents.
During the 2-day training, the Code of Conduct was heavily discussed, amended and ratified by the journalists. An important part of the training was a comparative analysis on the role of media on the election crisis in Kenya and the key lesson that experience offers Somaliland.
Among the delegates who were also present during the signing the media Code of Conduct included: Somaliland’s Minister of Information, Mr. Ahmed Haji Dahir; NEC chairman, Mr. Ise Yusuf H. Mohamed; Director General of the Ministry of Information, Mr. Mohamed Ahmed Alin (Timbaro); The Academy’s Executive Director, Mr. Mohamed Saed Gees; Senior officials from Interpeace and representatives of the three national political parties.
As part of efforts to ensure objective coverage of the electoral process, the signed Code of Conduct strictly prohibits from Somaliland’s local media to disseminate any information that may hinder and challenge the smooth implementation of the upcoming elections.
[ad#Google Adsense (336x280)]
Speaking at the concluding ceremony, the Minister of Information, Mr. Haji Dahir praised the country’s major media outlets for signing the code and suggested that all work towards its realization prior to and during the upcoming elections.
Chairman of the United Somaliland Journalists, Mr. Abdilah Mohamed Dahir, who also spoke at the conclusion of the ceremony, stated that, as journalists, they will implement the code and will avoid playing any negative role in the upcoming presidential election which may subsequently destabilize the country.
Finally, NEC spokesman, Mr. Mohamed Hirsi (Geele) stated that they will soon nominate a commission that will monitor the implementation of the code of conduct.
A fortnight ago, the same journalists attended a 5-day training also co-organized by Interpeace and NEC in Addis-Ababa, where the same code of conduct was introduced and rectified for Ethiopia’s May parliamentary elections.
Any one found of preaching the code could see their license been stripped of by the government, where as, more serious violations could result in criminal charges, resulting in fines or prison terms.
Written by: Adnan Abdi Hassan
Somalilandpress, 28 April 2010Follow @somalilandpress
By Hassan Ali