Bareedo Platform facilitated Right to information and protection of vulnerable groups – Remote training units for 34 journalists from different media outlets in Puntland, mainly those based in Garowe, the capital city of Puntland state in Somalia.
The training was funded through partnership between Puntland Media Co. and Caritas Somalia in collaboration with the School of Journalism of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy. Perigeo NGO and Itstime Research Center of the Catholic University were consultant partners of the project.
The 5-day training was conducted 34 (M: 21 F: 13) journalists, editors and other media personnel from key media outlets in Puntland, mainly those based in Garowe, the capital of Puntland in five different days from May 29, 2022 to June 11, 2022.
Trainers; a media training expert and a digital security expert delivered training sessions by using their own experiences and lessons and knowledge contents extracted from 5 videos previously recorded and shared by the School of Journalism of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy. And they covered the following topics or lessons during the five days training:-
Day 1 – Training Unit 1: Freedom of speech, human rights
- Freedom of expression is an increasingly rare commodity.
- Why it is necessary to defend it in the world and how it is possible to do so, considering the various national sensitivities.
- National and international laws on freedom of expression and international charters.
- The United Nations: origin, declarations, laws, agencies, advocacy activities.
- International human rights laws: human rights defenders, agencies and NGOs for human rights defenders.
- National legal frameworks demonstrating the freedom of information, freedom of speech, the freedom of media/press; looking at Puntland Media Act.
Day 2 – Training Unit 2: Freedom of the press, fighting censorship
- How to practice journalism without running into the mesh of censorship and how to resist self-censorship.
- Writing techniques for journalists, associations for the defence of information rights.
- How the international judicial system works in cases of arrest or criminal conviction, which international lawyers to appeal to.
Day 3 – Training Unit 3: Information and misinformation
- Some call it fake news but it is misinformation.
- Use factual truth to draw attention to unverified details.
- How to recognize misinformation content, how to dodge it, how to organize debunking.
- Social media and websites: the world’s largest debunking sites and the most effective projects in progress.
- Practical demonstration by looking at use of the following fact-checking tools
- Fact Check Explorer
- InVid plugin
- YouTube Metadata
- Google Images
- Google Earth
- SunCalc i
- Who Posted What
Day 4 – Training Unit 4: Protecting data: protect yourself and others
- Protecting sources today means knowing how to protect your computer data.
- Alternative and protected browsing techniques, password, double verification, Osint.
- How to manage and protect your social media, smartphone apps to use and set up security and privacy set ups in computers and other equipment.
- Practical demonstration by the participants to evaluate the security vulnerabilities of their digital equipment and social media accounts.
- Practical demonstration by the participants to evaluate security and privacy set up of their Android mobiles and windows computers
- Discussion on how to deal with online harassment and abuse as well as recovering or claiming back blocked online accounts.
Day 5 – Training Unit 5: Dialogue with minorities
- Definition of vulnerable and marginalized groups in Somalia
- At the basis of a peaceful society lies coexistence, in constructive dialogue with minorities. Acceptance of the other is necessary for peaceful coexistence.
- Examples and practices of coexistence and active laws in the world to guarantee and promote it.
- How to deal with a reportage on the themes of coexistence, religious dialogue and intercultural differences: techniques and methods.
The training was delivered successfully and met its intended objectives. 34 journalists and media workers from the key media outlets in Puntland improved their understanding of the international and national laws on freedom of expression, freedom of press and human rights and how to effectively address censorship and safety problems. Journalists gained capacity and skills to use the existing digital tools to counter misinformation, disinformation, fake news and unreliable contents. They received digital security knowledge and use of the relevant digital tools to defeat the growing digital threats and do their vital work safely and effectively and make their families and their sources considerably more secure. Additionally, journalists understood their role in protection of the vulnerable groups in their reporting.
The local TVs such as Puntland TV, MMTV, Universal TV and Horseed Media reported the training sessions and what the journalists learned from each session and how will these help them improve the issue of freedom of the press and the protection and protection of journalists in Puntland, Somalia.
The participants of the training appreciated the School of Journalism of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and Caritas Somalia for this useful training, and also Bareedo Platform for facilitating the training sessions. They requested similar and continuation of such trainings and capacity building opportunities in the future.