The Somali Online Media and Journalists Association (SOMJA) was launched in 2008 as an association which stands for the protection of freedom of the press. It is run by a team of professional journalists who expand and improve Somali online Media coverage.
SOMJA is a non-profit and non-governmental organization, which is an umbrella body for all Somali websites and journalists.
It represents over 60 journalists throughout the country and also fights against all violations of human rights and the rights of journalists.
SOMJA is also a fervent campaigner for media freedom, the rights of journalists and for social justice in Somalia.
SOMJA analytically conducts and monitors investigations into violations of press freedom and the human rights of journalists.
Our members work throughout the country as reporters, editors, and sub-editors, as well as photographers.
They also are the current working journalists in reporting newspapers, magazines and new media channels such as websites and other modern media.
They are professionals, who are proud of the work that they do, systematically monitoring and conducting investigations into violations of press freedom and the human rights of journalists.
What we do
Representing the broad and varied base of Somali online media and the journalists who operate within it, SOMJA aims to make sure media freedom; ethical standards in media are protected. To achieve this, it lobbies nationally and internationally for the rights of Somali online media and journalists.
In pursuit of these overall objectives, SOMJA wants to:
Defend and promote principles of the journalists as online version and create a new phenomena of bloggers;
Strive for and seek out services for members to obtain skills training.
Protect and promote freedom of the press, speech and information.
Normalize and develop relationships between employees and employers.
Improve working conditions and freedom of speech in the online domain.
Promote and encourage cooperation and unity among Somali online media and journalists.
Defend the common interest of the nation and the coexistence of the Somali people.
What Were the Motivations for Launching SOMJA?
SOMJA was created to fulfill the role of an actor endowed with social responsibility. As such, it results from the motivation to provide independent and critical coverage of worldwide issues emanating from a public service. Arising from these motivations, SOMJA has a great deal of experience and professional know-how in the field of supporting independent journalism.
Structure of the Organization
SOMJA’s administration is conducted via a general assembly, where delegates from the branches of the association come together. During these general assemblies, which bring together the highest decision-making body of the association, many of the important policy objectives are discussed and finalized.
The priorities of this Association are decided at the general assembly, which meets at least once every three years.
Evaluations and partnership
SOMJA is an active associate member of the Somali Media for Environments, Science, Health and agriculture (SOMESHA). It is also a close partner to the Somali Coalition for Free Expression (SOCFEX) and the Somali Foreign Correspondents Association (SOFCA).
The current chairperson of SOMJA is Mohamed Ali Abdi (Royters) and he is serving as the chief executive officer and head of staff.
Membership of the Association
SOMJA membership is open to all Somali journalists and media practitioners in the media industry, especially for those currently working as online reporters and bloggers.
SOMJA Executive Board Directors are as follows.
1. Mr. Mohamed Ali Abdi (Royter) , (Secretary General)
2. Ms. Ubah A/nur Osman, (Finance Officer)
3. Mr. Mohamed Shidane Daban, (Program Officer)
4. Ms. Filsan Abdirahman Abdulle, (Advocacy and lobbying officer for Journalists)
5. Mr. Shafi Skheikh Ali, (Head of Human rights)
6. Mr. Ahmed Ali Kilwe , ( Senior International Monitor)
7. Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim Ayaanle, (Head of SOMJA trainings in East Africa)
8. Mr. Salad Gedi Ali, (Protection Officer of SOMJA)
The priorities of this Association are decided at the general assembly, which is met once in every three years, the meeting is decided by the supreme council and they are as follows:
1. Mohamed Ali Abdi (Royter), (Chairperson of the Supreme Council)
2. Mr Salad Gedi Ali, (Chairperson of Supervisor Committee)
3. Ms. Ubah A/nur Osman, (Chairlady of Control Committee)
4. Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim Ayaanle, (Chairperson of Membership Committee)
5. Mr. Ahmed Ali Kilwe (Chairperson of Nominating Committee)