News / Africa

Journalism Brings Hope for Young Somalis

Journalism Brings Hope for Young Somalians Despite Dangeri
X
August 15, 2013 1:38 PM
They are 17, 18, 20 years old. They are journalists in Mogadishu, one of the most dangerous places in the world for reporters. At Radio Shabelle, the biggest station in Somalia, most of the journalists are young and don't have much experience, but they are devoted and passionate, despite being targets of the terrorist group al-Shabab. Emilie Iob and Patricia Huon interviewed some of these journalists for VOA on a trip to Mogadishu.
Emilie Iob and Patricia Huon
They are 17, 18, 20 years old. They are journalists in Mogadishu, one of the most dangerous places in the world for reporters. At Radio Shabelle, the biggest station in Somalia, most of the journalists are young and don't have much experience, but they are devoted and passionate, despite being targets of the terrorist group al-Shabab.

Kept like a fortress, this building is the headquarters of Radio Shabelle. It is here, in Mogadishu, that Hidaya Abdullahi Sabriye comes to work every day. She is only 17, but she already has been a journalist for two years. She said her job is her passion.

"I decided to become a journalist first because I liked it. And also because I felt the community needed journalists to report on what is happening," she said. "I believed that, with the crisis that Somalia faces, you need independent journalists who help the people by reporting well on what is happening."

Sabriye is one of the voices heard every morning on the radio. At Radio Shabelle, most of the journalists are young adults, or even teenagers. Somalia is rebuilding, and the media is growing. Journalism is one of the rare sectors that offers job opportunities to young people without a school degree or political connections, according to Radio Shabelle founder and director Abdi Uud.

"The media won't get better as long as Shabab is here and journalists remain a target and they keep shooting the messengers, which are the eyes and the ears of the people. It can be discouraging. I'm surprised and happy to see that the number of media is increasing, Uud said. "The media schools are increasing, and the number of journalists are increasing. Young people are joining. So that brings hope in the future of journalism in Somalia."

A lot of journalists at Radio Shabelle live within the radio's premises. On the roof are dorms where those who are too scared to go back home can sleep. Somalia is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. Last year, at least 18 of them were murdered, and six this year so far. At Radio Shabelle, these young reporters are conscious of risking their life. They don't often go into the field, and when they do, it's only with tight security, said reporter Hassan Sheik Abukhar.

"This is a dangerous job because we can't go anywhere. We can't see our families or attend any program because our security is not good. No one can promise you that you will come back to the station safe," said Abukhar.

But the desire to inform and to acquire professional experience makes them stay. A new measure could, however, exclude these youngsters from the studio. Last month, the Somali government adopted a controversial law that forbids every person under the age of 40 from practicing journalism.

You May Like

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs