By Ali Mohamed
Tuesday April 19, 2022
For a free and democratic society, the people would expect the
media to cover political and social events and information in an accurate,
concise, and unbiased manner. The media to act as the watchdog for the
public---to hold the political and business leaders accountable. More
importantly, the media coverage must be free from the influence of special
interest groups such as political, businesspeople, or clan leaders. But, so
far, the so-called Somaliland YouTube based outlets have failed to practice the
basic principles of journalism.
They blatantly ask for money before they provide any coverage (Brown-envelope
journalism)—a practice journalists accept money from the source, and they have
become so corrupt to even inform the public what is going on or the facts.
In fact, they are acting
as a front for failed politicians who are “Exploiters and Sowers of division”,
greedy merchants who evade taxes, and foreign entities who are very determined
to make Somaliland as a region of Somalia.
We do not have professional
journalists in Somaliland. What we have is a bunch of underpaid young people,
citizen reporters “with a mike and camera”, with little or no journalism or
ethical training. They lack the basic code of good journalism: to report the
news fairly, objectively, and accurately. They do not provide accurate, clearly
sourced accounts of events.
For instance, On Wednesday April 14, Elik, a reporter for the MMTV, which joined the
charade of ‘fake News’ crowd, provided erroneous information about ongoing law
enforcement tactical operation inside Hargeisa Central Prison---which houses
the most notorious criminals, including terrorists. On Facebook live, he said,
“Heavy gun battle is going on inside the Prison,” and he added, “Several corrections
officers have suffered gunshot wounds.”
Elik, instead of
withholding information about the #Hargeisa Central prison tactical police
operation, because of his recklessness he broadcasted the wrong information
about the incident live. He provided Somaliland haters false information to
propagate on Facebook live.
and others could not wait to get the facts surrounding what took place at
Hargeisa Central prison from the authorities.
to the Head of the Somaliland Department of Corrections, Ahmed Yusuf, the whole
incident was not more than an altercation between the inmates. After
Corrections officers tried to control the melee, the inmates used stones to
injure 4 officers, who suffered minor injuries. However, the officers kept the
prison under control.
on the prison using assault weapons, it turned out that there was no such
attack, a huge number of wounded officers, it never happened. All were lies
perpetuated by the Somaliland ‘Fake’ News to give comfort and aid to
Somaliland’s enemy, and disservice to our people.
Any responsible journalist
would not have broadcasted such ongoing corrections officer’s operation,
because the terrorists and their supporters would be able watch the coverage
What officer provided
Elik the fake news? It seems he manufactured the whole story to appease his
alleged Mogadishu paymasters.
But the owners and
the management of the Somaliland YouTube outlets also have
responsibility to report accurately and fairly, especially cases
involving public safety and National Security. They should also be held
accountable for any journalism malpractice by their reporters.
We should have to set up
a standard of conduct for journalists to operate if they do not have one
already. The journalist deserves to receive better training on ethics and good
journalism. We should also address their pay, so they do not have to ask for a
bribe to cover a story; taking a bribe destroys the media's credibility. That
is why most Somalilanders do not trust the ‘fake news’ media.
The government should
impose serious fines on the owners of the YouTube TVs if they broadcast any
information deemed harming our security and public safety.
The government should
also go to the bottom where these outlets: MMTV, BulshoTV, SAABTV and others
receive their financing. For example, BulshoTV, is financed by Al-Harbi group,
which runs a confectionery business. But after losing importing fuel business,
they resorted to become the mouthpiece of the grievances of a local subclan in
In fact, most of these
outlets are not news organizations; they are not more than a mouthpiece
propagating the agenda of their own sub-clans.
They have failed to
cover the most pressing issues that matter to the people: unfair tax system, higher
cost of energy, crime, corruption in government and business, and higher
inflation for food and other necessary goods.
There are credible allegations
that MMTV and Universal TV were financed by the Somalia government and the UN
disguising as promoting freedom of press.
I am editor of
Gubanmedia; I am for freedom of press, but I am not for dishonest, unprincipled,
fake, and biased journalists who are disseminating fake news with callous
disregard for the stability and safety of our public.
The MMTV coverage on the
story of the Hargeisa Central Prison incident has failed to meet even the basic
standard of journalism. It is a dictionary definition of journalistic malpractice.
Therefore, the government should crack down on MMTV and other ‘fake news’ media
before they do more harm to the national security and stability of the nation. We
cannot let them continue spreading their smear campaign against Somaliland.
Founder and Editor