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Welcome to National Union of Somali Journalists

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) was set up in August 2002 as an association called Somali Journalists Network (SOJON) to promote and protect freedom of the press and the interests of journalists after the former Transitional National Government of Somalia (TNG) prepared and approved a repressive media law in Mogadishu. 

In order to effectively fight for journalists’ pay and conditions, their working rights and their professional freedom, the members of the organization in their 2005 General Assembly in Mogadishu resolved to transform the organization from an Association to a Labor Union with a new Name: the National Union of Somali Journalists. The organization was formally dedicated for the purpose of serving the member journalists’ interests and needs with respect to journalists’ rights, press freedom and working conditions. 

The National Union of Somali Journalists is a national labor union representing over 525 of Somalia’s 700 journalists, who established or joined the union in order to uphold and defend their interests, needs and rights cooperatively and deal with employers, authorities and other sectors in the society collectively. 

NUSOJ is a fervent champion for media freedom, the rights of journalists, workers’ rights and for social justice in Somalia. Member journalists work across the whole industry as reporters, editors and sub-editors and photographers. Members work in broadcasting, newspapers, magazines, and in the new media (news NUSOJ websites). NUSOJ members are professionals who are proud of the work that NUSOJ does. Its members come from many different families and backgrounds, with widely different regions. 

The union systematically monitors and conducts investigations into violations of press freedom and human rights of journalists. NUSOJ provides accurate, prompt and impartial information concerning attacks on journalists such as killings, arrests, death threats and harassments, as well as acts of aggression against media organizations. NUSOJ generates and rallies a national and global community of press freedom defenders to take effective action against press freedom violations.  

NUSOJ provides a constant stream of information to the local media, foreign press, local authorities, members of international community, inter-governmental organizations and the United Nations, urging them to take action where press freedom infringements are happening. NUSOJ monitors and investigate cases of violations objectively and independently. NUSOJ ensures national coverage on press freedom and labor issues. NUSOJ organizes national acts of solidarity with victimized journalists, media professionals at risk or the families of mistreated journalists. 

NUSOJ lobbies at various levels, targeting local media, local authorities, government and the international community, calling for them to respect, protect and promote media freedom, journalists’ rights and to improve unfair policies and programs. NUSOJ creates a clear position on issues of concern, not only to its members, but to all concerned groups who are interested or involved in what NUSOJ stands for.

As part of the union’s commitment to promote high standards in media and journalism, NUSOJ strengthens the professional competence and ethical standards of both established journalists and new entrants in order for them to be qualified journalists adhering to high professional standards. NUSOJ has organised and continue to arrange workshops, seminars, roundtables and debates on the profession with the ultimate aim of strengthening the freedom of opinion and the freedom of the press and thus improving the conditions for democratization, peace building, reconciliation and social and economic development in Somalia. 

Union Objectives

  1. To defend and broaden the freedom of the Press, which is the freedom to gather information, the freedom to impart information and the freedom of opinion without meddling.
  2. To preserve and support trade union principles.
  3. To represent journalists in all places where topics relating to the profession are in discussions.
  4. To normalize and develop relationships involving the employees and employers.
  5. To negotiate and support the agreements of disagreements arising between employees and employers by pacification, mediation or otherwise safeguard the interest of the members.
  6. To strive and seek out services for members to obtain skills training. 
  7. The protection and development of freedom of expression and democracy to enable the citizens to express their feelings liberally at any time.
  8. To move up the importance of journalism in the society by implementing a professional code of ethics.
  9. To promote a courage of cooperation and unity among Somali journalists.
  10. The protection and backing of public justice, civil liberty and peace.
  11. The elimination of favouritism on the basis of clan, gender or disability.
  12. To protect and promote the rights of freelance journalists.
  13. To defend the common interest of the nation and the coexistence of the Somali people.
  14. To promote the rights of women journalists and not to discriminate them in the media, and to guarantee their appearance in all structures of the union.

NUSOJ Structure 

NUSOJ was founded and is governed by its member journalists. It is a democratic union, and its strength comes from the involvement and engagement of all its members. It is possible for all members to influence policy. The Union’s policy, objectives and priorities are decided at the General Assembly, which meets once in every three years. Six Branches of the union are entitled to send delegates to the General Assembly in proportion to the size of their membership. 

Policies and programs developed by the elected members are implemented and administered by the National Secretariat. Supreme Council, responsible for the general policies between General Assemblies, and an Executive Committee, in charge for the administration of the Union, govern NUSOJ. The diversity of the union’s membership also is one of its strengths. NUSOJ is pitilessly opposed to discrimination and prejudice, on grounds of gender, tribe/clan, age or disability, not least because it divides rather than unites. 

International Relations

The National Union of Somali Journalists is an active member of the Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA). Internationally, NUSOJ is a full affiliate of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). It is affiliated to the International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX) and is the Somali partner organization of Reporters without Borders (RSF).