Somaliland:Sahardiid forms Media Censorship Committee
By M.A. Egge
The newly appointed Information, National Guidance and Cultural Minister Hon. Osman Abdillahi Sahardid alias Addani announced that he has named a media steering committee consisting of veterans in the profession who would be charged with the task of sensor-ship.
Hon. Sahardid made the statement, in his first public undertaking in his new portfolio since being transferred from the aviation, at a meeting that dealt with the capacity building of the industry convened by SOLJA in a city hotel.
At the same time the minister did not mince words when he sounded the caution that he saw “conflict of interests” because there were senior officials in the media industry tending to speak for the workers through the associations at the same time.
“The government is not against the dissemination of truthful and substantial news”, said the minister.
He however categorically clarified, “I’ll not though accept the peddling of lies by the media”.
While continuing to address the meeting he revealed the fact that same day (Wednesday) he named a sensor-ship committee which would nationally guide the media industry.
“I’ve just formed this morning a sensor ship committee of seven who would be privy to what is being broadcasted to the nation”, said the minister.
He further underscored the imperativeness of whatever being broadcasted and transmitted for public consumption was NOT to be items (articles, documentaries on films) that were provocative, against and contradicting to the religious edicts or cultural or customary etiquettes of the nation.
He said that he was delving into the media laws whose bill was tabled to the parliament and yet to be enacted.
“Let SOLJA not defend a peddler of lies”, he warned.
He said that his ministry would stand by just scribes “whose articles are truthful, verifiable and can be substantiated and especially promoting cohesive peaceful stability”.
He pointed out that he would like to see the local territory educational institution (Universities) promote the journalism profession.
In answer to SOLJA wish of indulging him into a tête-à-tête, he gave the rejoinder, “I would like SOLJA to speed up the meeting for I direly want a rapport with them (to set issues right) for I see a lot of conflict of interests”.
He was convictional that a culprit who clinches a camera masquerading in the name of journalism to perpetuate ill-innuendoes, malice etc to solicit funds or hurt others would not be tolerated at all.
He said that the ethics of etiquettes of the profession ought to be adhered to