Radio Shabelle in Mogadishu, Somalia has faced a flowering rise of journalists after having been in civil war for the past two years. However, what is amazing to hear from this week’s On the Media coverage of Somolia’s Journalists is that many of them range from the ages of 15-22! This radio station is not student run but an actual station with dedicated and passionate journalists. Many of these journalists face exile from their country or even death. NPR’s East Africa correspondent, Gregory Warner described Radio Shabelle stating “It felt like a college, journalists don’t want to risk going home so they sleep in the office.” One reporter aged 20, says in an interview “My hobby is journalism” however the context of “hobby” is not what we know it here in the US, for her and many other child reporters, it is their “calling” or “passion” and one day hope to become a real journalist. Radio’s in Somalia is a huge part of their culture as almost every Somalian home has a radio set to get updates on what is happening within the country. Radio Shabelle is not the only radio station of its kind as Warner went on to discuss similar stations located in Afghanistan that practice “zournalism” which is a kind of journalism based on force journalism. The issue with both Radio Shabelle and other like-minded stations is that it keeps the instability of the country fresh and does not allow a change to occur for the country. However, Warner does believe that this sort of journalism will die out eventually.
I highly recommend you listen to the blog!