Listening Post
Somalia: The risk of being a journalist
Exploring the media landscape in Somalia, a country where being a journalist can cost you your life.
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2012 12:39

Somalia has one of the most vibrant media landscapes in the Horn of Africa. There are hundreds of radio, TV and print outlets satisfying the Somali thirst for news. And yet, broadcasters and journalists operate in an atmosphere which is hostile to free expression.

Somalia ranks as Africa's most dangerous place to be a journalist - this year alone six reporters have been murdered.

The threats to the media in Somalia come from all sides - there are powerful politicians in power battles with each other, there is the notorious armed group al-Shabab and even wealthy businessmen can mean danger.

Trying to report on the country's various issues has proven difficult for journalists. Those that do, do so at their peril. But that fragile media environment has not stemmed the growth of the media sector or discouraged young journalists from entering the field.

In this week's feature, Listening Post's Flo Phillips explores the media landscape in Somalia, a country where being a journalist can cost you your life.

"Somali people in general are actually very news-orientated. They gather news all the time, either in private or government or whatever, they are more interested about what's going on; when they even shake your hands they tell you, do you have any news?

It's a tough job but somebody has to do it and somebody has to really convey the message ... they believe that you're gonna die one day and you never know the date that you're gonna die so they take that risk ... it's not an easy job, you have to either kill something or to be killed."

Farhan Haji Ali Ahmed, the owner of Horn Cable TV


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