The political conflict among the branches of the government (Legislative and Executive) has lefted bad impact to the daily life of the citizens, because Somalia specially South-Central Somalia regions are more rely on the actions of the federal government than the other regions of Somalia such Puntland . Additionally, the Somali people generally are society of media and they depend on what they receive from the media, but unfortunately the media is not playing their positive role towards the society.
This fact gives both print and broadcast journalism important functions that include influencing public opinion, determining the political agenda, providing a link between the government and the people, acting as a government watchdog, and affecting socialization. Alternatively the media is escalating the violence and the chaos among the people, because all the time they broadcast and disseminate a bad news which demoralizes the people such as exaggerating the violence and the political dispute among the politicians.
Meanwhile, the basic functions of the media are:-
- The first function is Information: Dissemination of information is the major function of mass media. Since information is knowledge and knowledge is power, media offer authentic and timely facts and opinions about various event and situations to mass audience as informative items. Information provided by mass media can be opinionated, objective, subjective, primary and secondary. But unfortunately it doesn’t mean to tell the people non-sense information which can lead the people the wrong direction such as exaggerating the conflict between the politicians.
- The second function is Education: Media provide education and information side by side. It provides education in different subjects to people of all levels. They try to educate people directly or indirectly using different forms of content. Distance education program, for example, is a direct approach. Dramas, documentaries, interviews, feature stories and many other programs are prepared to educate people indirectly. Especially in the post conflict countries like Somalia, mass media must use as effective tools for mass awareness. In order to eradicate various traditional and evil superstitious practices from society such as tribalism through continuous advocacy.
- The third function is Entertainment: The other important function of mass media is the entertainment. It is also views as the most obvious function of media. Actually, entertainment is a kind of performance that provides pleasure to people. Mass media fulfill this function by providing amusement and assist in reducing tension to large degree. Newspaper and magazines, radio, television and online medium offer stories, films, serials, and comics to entertain their audience. Sports, news, film review, columns on art and fashion are other instances. It makes audience recreational and leisure time more enjoyable. But these days, media have comprised information and education in the entertaining programs. The fusion of entertainment and information is called infotainment. Similarly, the inclusion of education in entertaining programs is regarded as edutainment. Additionally, as Somalis, we need more entertainment programs in order to get lost our past problems and also we need more trauma-healing programs.
On the other hand, there is nowadays a new media call (Social Media) this type of media is allocated to exchange the people their social issues specially Facebook, but unfortunately is used as a (Political Media) and mostly publishes about political debates and it spreads hatred information and discusses tribalism and aggressiveness which uplifted the difference and conflicts among the people.
According to the current political infighting between the legislative and the executive branches of the government particularly the Speaker of the House of the People (Jawari) and the Prime Minister (Kheyre) is undermining the impeding progress of the government and also diminishes the hope of the people towards this government, because when the government take one step forward, then immediately face a new challenges which leads two step backward.
For example, during this new political difference, a lot of bills are pending which are useful the public both the executive and the legislative branch of the government for sack of their busyness of each other.
During last week when I was listening one of the radio, there was a debate between the Mps who are against the motion and Mps who are lobbying the motion, both of them were talking about the reason behind this motion, and they said” there is a doubt among us about fearing that the other side is preparing a motion against the other group”! So imagine even they don’t have any clear purpose towards what they are lobbying and they endanger the hope of the people, also they weaken and jeopardize the security! Because each group are threatening the other group, and thanks after Allah the president for his stopping the last Saturday’s meeting of the parliament.
According to the citizens, they engaged the political arena and if you are sitting in a cafeteria most of the people are analyzing the politics, even Tuk-Tuk (Bajaj) drivers are telling asking , how about the new conflict between the Speaker and the Prime minister? For me, I am supporting that and that! This is Disaster by the way!
If you ask them why you are involved this politics which is none sense for you instead of getting busy for your own business solely? They reply because we need to aware of what is going on, also we are responsible our self and no one is caring for us, so we get the update through the media if new roads are blocked or if explosion is happened and so on.
Meanwhile, civil servants are also involved the politics, if you observe the public sector, mostly the staff are talking and analyzing about the politics instead of performing their assigned tasks which undermined the work performance. So everyone is in the politics!
- To limit or close totally social media specifically (Facebook) during the conflict time in order to hinder and downgrade the propaganda
- To disseminate awareness to the crowd through the official media of the government so as to upgrade the hope of the people
- To reach political compromise for sack of the national interest
- To avoid conflict of interest which can lead destruction of the common interest
- To receive the crowd an update related the achievement of the government from the head of the state as longest we are oral society
- To work collectively both politicians and civil our common interest and avoid fragility which escalate when a new conflict arises
Anwar Abdifatah Bashir (Freelance Journalist and Researcher)
Office Network Allbanaadir.com