“Puntland had high profile journalists such as Abdinur Sheikh Mohammed Ishaq. Today we don’t have journalists with similar calibre who can conduct interviews or (carry out) investigative reporting” said Presiden Deni.
President Deni questioned the training Puntland journalists undergo “given their poor skills and the low quality of their media output”.
Under the President’s Deni administration journalists have been court-martialed, a legal process put in place to put terrorist suspects on trial.
Other measures introduced by Puntland include the centralisation of government news.
Local journalists cannot report from governments meeting or parliamentary sessions, and the Puntland State media distributes information and images about said meetings.
Last week, Puntland authorities arrested a journalist who conducted a vox-pop on a policy speech by the Puntland President.
“Puntland President expects the local media to toe the government line. He criticised (the) independence of the media necessary for any society that values political accountability. I don’t think political associations in Puntland share President Deni’s view ” said a researcher with one of the Puntland think tanks.
This article first appeared in the © Puntland Post, 2021 and is republished with permission