British Embassy launches Somali journalism award

The British Embassy in Mogadishu has launched an award for journalists with videos and photographs which demonstrate a positive, original and unique story about Somalia and Somaliland.

The embassy has invited media students and early career journalists based in the two countries to submit their productions as part of the celebrations of the World Press Freedom Day and the ‘Global Conference for Media Freedom’ (#DefendMediaFreedom), to be hosted by the governments of the United Kingdom and Canada in July 2019,.

Dubbed as the Young Somali Voices journalism prize (YSV), the award will highlight the importance of defending media freedom and demonstrate the key role that the media play in creating an inclusive and open society in Somalia. It will also seek to identify and project young Somali voices and positive stories about Somalia.

The new prize was announced during World Press Freedom Day celebrations held at the British Embassy Mogadishu and co-hosted by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Somalia, Ben Fender, and representatives from the United Nations office in Somalia. The event provided a platform for a cross section of Somali journalists to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities they face with regard to media freedom in Somalia.

Speaking after the event, the British Ambassador to Somalia said: “A free press is our best defence against corruption, extremism and abuse of power. Media freedom is under increasing attack in Somalia as journalists are routinely subjected to intimidation, harassment and persecution. I look forward to continuing our work with the media, civil society organisations, international partners and the Government of Somalia to address these challenges together.”

The objective of the British Embassy’s Somali Journalism Award is to celebrate and promote the important role that a free media plays in Somalia and to identify and recognise emerging talent; we encourage all young Somali media students and new journalists to actively participate.

The competition is open to media students and early career journalists with 3 years’ work experience and below, directly employed or freelance.

The applicants are to submit a video of up to 2 minutes highlighting a positive and unique story about any aspect of life in Somalia; the video can be in Somali but must have English subtitles, a black and white or colour photograph depicting a positive and unique story about Somalia.; the photograph should have a title or short caption and a one-page CV which includes their name, date of birth, education, employment history and a copy of your travel document and your entry.

Applications from women and marginalised groups are particularly encouraged.

All entrants must be Somali nationals and have a valid travel document.

Only one entry is allowed per individual.

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