Somalia is the world’s most dangerous country for reporters, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. On a day-to-day-basis, the online harassment and censorship against journalists and social rights activists in Somalia is on the rise in a time most of the journalists depend on the Internet and digital communications for research, interaction and news distribution.
Journalists extensively use Internet and social media networks for news distribution, interaction with audiences without basic digital safeguards and for this reason, they come under constant threats in online settings by a variety of means, including by disseminating threats and disinformation, stalking and broadcasting private or personally identifiable information against them while authorities have set up dedicated teams who troll journalists and report them to Facebook’s standard enforcers in order to disable their accounts and silence critical media voices. Due to these growing threats, many journalists have given up their jobs and others left the country according to a report issued by Amnesty International in February 2020.
A small survey conducted in February found that 89% of journalists in Somalia had personally experienced a security issue due to their work and unfamiliar with the widely available strategies and sophisticated digital security tools that could protect them in the digital space. To respond these growing threats, Bareedo Platform concducted digital security training workshops provided for 112 journalists, bloggers, photographers, producers, editors, broadcast reporters, social media editors, publishers, and news directors based in Garowe, Mogadishu and Kismayo Somalia. The training was delivered by Bareedo Platform’s digital rights team and freelance expert with competence and experience in digital security who have been involved in media capacity building and media literacy work for more than ten years.
These trainings strengthened the digital security capacity of 112 journalists who have been in frequent online threats due to their work. 91% of the trained journalists had no prior knowledge in digital security, but now 99% of them gained a better and more nuanced understanding of widely available strategies and sophisticated digital security tools that could protect them in the digital space, including using secure email services, encrypting their data, or utilizing IP blocking services that help hide sensitive online activities, the basic security and privacy features of smartphones and windows computers as well as those of online accounts. Henceforth, they can defeat the growing digital threats against them and do their vital work safely and effectively as well as make their families and sources considerably more secure.
Bareedo Platform Somalia also established a desk run by a digital security expert who has been in touch with trained journalists after the training and provided them with necessary guidance to develop and implement effective and resilient practices for digital security in their work stations to better protect themselves and their data, and to carry out their work with greater freedom.
Bareedo Platform will continue such trainings and will support the journalists who are under immediate threat on daily basis. Please contact our Digital Help Desk for technical assistance or inquiries.
Digital Rights Team
Digital Rights Team
Garowe, Puntland Somalia
Tell: +252 66 1116061 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org