Journalists and professionals in various fields today converged in Mogadishu for a training on the Somali language for journalists.
The training, which has been billed as the first of a kind in Mogadishu aims at empowering journalists and equipping with them requisite writing and speaking skills for their day to day working in the field and newsroom.
The training comes at a time when concern has been raised regarding the standard of the Somali language in the media with critics noting that journalists boasted a remote understanding of the language despite continuously using it since childhood.
Speaking during the launch of the programme, Somali Media Academy administrator, Abdi-Ali Shire observed that it was imperative for journalists in particular to master the language since they transmit knowledge and information using the same language. He added that a good understanding of the language would also translate to better and quality content in the media.
“The kind of Somali language spoken in the media currently is almost sounding foreign to the audience since journalists have a very little understanding and this contributes a great deal to watering down of the kind of content we get from the media,” Shire lamented.
Participants in the training also realized their mastery of the language was far from real yet they have always thought they had a good command. Abdirahman Heelos, a radio journalist, stated, “I was surprised today to learn that my knowledge of the Somali language is significantly dismal. I have been proven wrong today and this is indeed a challenge to me and fellow journalists.”
The training will run for the next three months and has attracted about one hundred participants. Renowned Somali language scholar and teacher Ahmed Mohamed Suleyman is conducting the programme.