Somaliland Press Freedom: Opportunities and Challenges

Somaliland Press Freedom: Opportunities and Challenges

Somaliland Press Freedom: Opportunities and Challenges
Dec 12, 2013
SORADI
pdf
Place of Publication: Hargeisa, Somaliland
Date of Publication: 2013
Number of Pages: 136
License: CC-BY-NC-ND
Language of Publication: English

"Media in Somaliland enjoys a large degree of freedom but lots of challenges remain" declared Abdilahi Mohamed Dahir Cukuse, Somaliland's Minister of Information and Culture a at the Annual Conference of the Social Research and Development Institute (SORADI). With the support of the Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Delegation of the European Commission in Kenya, SORADI has so far organised 4 Annual Conferences in Somaliland.
 
With a focus on media development, the conference in Hargeisa on August 24 and 25 brought together representatives from government institutions, policy makers, civil society as well as academics, journalists, international scholars, and traditional leaders to discuss, debate and exchange ideas on press freedom in Somaliland's young democracy. With 57 licensed newspapers, 8 TV stations, 108 news websites but only one public radio station the first contribution to the discussion centred on the media industry, its practices and the lack of enforcement of regulatory frameworks. Lessons from what the author of the second paper called "Africa's freedom of speech dilemma" guided the conversation on what there is to learn for Somaliland. Further afield, the third paper dealt with the role of the Diaspora in shaping the media landscape in Somaliland. As part of the discussion on professional media practices, the fourth presentation looked at challenges of Somaliland Universities to offer relevant studies programmes. Debating the intricate issue of balancing rights and responsibilities of media, the fifth paper looked at the performance of the media during the time of elections. The final paper summarised promises and challenges of media freedom in Somaliland, calling for legal, policy and institutional reforms in order to avoid arbitrary and politically motived interference with the dissemination of information and opinions to the public.
 
Conference papers, full conference reports and four additional papers looking at elections, affirmative action for women's political participation and aid in Somaliland can be downloaded here: