8/8/2022
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Media freedom: Somali journalists under attack by Shabaab, state and online trolls


Wednesday May 4, 2022
By ABDULKADIR KHALIF


Somalia’s journalists have traditionally worked in one of Africa’s most dangerous environments, targeted by Al-Shabaab and government operatives alike. PHOTO | FILE | NMG

Somalia’s journalists have traditionally worked in one of Africa’s most dangerous environments, targeted by Al-Shabaab and government operatives alike.

But now, journalists say the attacks have shifted online, with hired trolls tormenting them in the digital space.

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And as practitioners marked World Press Freedom Day on Tuesday May 3, Somali journalists said the physical attacks and the “digital siege” on journalists was making their work harder and riskier.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) says the digital threats have negated the vigilance against physical attacks.

“Journalists are routinely and personally harassed and attacked for writing in their Facebook pages or accounts. Those who report on political events have been the subject of open and violent online attacks by supporters of certain politicians,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ secretary-general. 

“This has led some journalists having to delete posts on their social media accounts, consider carefully what information should be made public, and/or dilute or camouflage what they say and how they say it.”  



 





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