This resource paper is part of the Secure Access in Volatile Environments (SAVE) research program, funded by UK-DFID. This three-year research program aims to contribute solutions for providing effective and accountable humanitarian action amid high levels of insecurity.
The project involves global-level and field-level analyses in four focus countries: Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria. This report presents the main research findings and key lessons on community feedback mechanisms in insecure settings.
This story originally ran in Medium.
Emerging from two decades of civil war and lawlessness, Somalia’s people are struggling with poverty and continuing violence. And, as in many societies, people with disabilities are the hardest hit.
Journalists in Somalia continue to work under harsh conditions, often employed by media outlets that focus on conflict reporting despite their own lack of adequate training to report without putting their lives at risk. The majority of radio journalists are young and were born and raised in Mogadishu during the civil war. They have not received a formal journalistic training; hence they are not fully aware of their role, of the impact of the stories they choose to tell or of the current media polarisation in the country.
The media in Somalia face tough challenges which undermine its independence and quality: threats, intimidation, weak access to information, security issues, lack of media laws to cite but a few. The media fraternity needs support to continue to exist and become increasingly professionalized around common standards.
“I feel more confident about approaching the media now. I came to realize that journalists are not as I imagined,” commented Mohamed Ali Farah, director and co-founder of the Somali Disability Empowerment Network (SODEN) after attending Internews’ training on media literacy. His organization works to raise public awareness and understanding of disabilities.
Internews has established three community radio stations in Somalia, in partnership with Star FM, a Nairobi-based Somali language radio station. Somali Voices, a radio program started by Internews to give voice to different groups including local government, civil society organizations, youth, and IDPs, is one of the most popular programs broadcast on the stations.
In partnership with Star FM, a Nairobi-based Somali language radio station, Internews has established three community radio stations in Mogadishu, Gurieel and Dhusamareb. The radio stations provide independent information and provide an opportunity for debate and dialogue in a country that is emerging from 20-plus years of conflict.
Somali Voices, one of the most popular programs broadcast on the stations, gives voice to different groups including local government, civil society organizations, youth, and IDPs, and also provides music and cultural programming.