|Join Our Mailing List|
Mediamania is gripping Somalia. As the country heads towards ending the transitional government in August of this year, the media is set to take centre stage in a process that will dramatically change Somalia’s political landscape.
In Mogadishu alone, the airwaves have been filled by nearly 20 FM radio stations with many more likely to be established in the coming months as the election season draws near. Of these twenty stations, more than half were formed within the last two years while four are about a month old.
During the rule of Somalia’s strongman, Mohamed Siad Barre, the country only had two radio stations, Radio Mogadishu and Radio Hargaisa. After his fall from power, the number of radio stations mushroomed without regulations, standardized editorial guidelines, trained journalists, or integrity. Fear being only censorship, the media has been used by opposing forces, including warlords and militants, to manipulate the people.
However, the contributions of young brave journalists are vital to tell the stories of Somalia. They work in extremely hostile environments from threats from militants, assassinations as well as tools by politicians in a city where the power hungry see the media as way of advancing their causes. Despite the killings of many journalists in the first months of this year, journalism continues to flourish.
According to media professionals and analysts, these new interests are the result of changes coming to Somalia's political future as well as al-Shabaab's pull out from Mogadishu in August of last year.
Abdulahi Ali Farah, the director of Mogadishu-based Radio Simba told Somalia Report that political parties are on the watch for platforms to sell their agendas while there is an element of tribalism as well.
“When you have a political agenda, you need to have a platform for that and this is nothing more than that,” he said.
“It is all about political campaigning and as well as tribal competition. Sounds like a tribal jealousy. If there is no tribal agenda behind Somali media, why don’t we see a radio station co-owned by two people from different clans," added the director.
Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, the managing director of newly formed Radio Dalsan, believes an improvement in the security of Mogadishu has encouraged business people to see the media as a viable business option.
“There is a hope for reconstruction and the business people see this as an opportunity after security has improved in the city,” he said.
Abdirashid Del of the National Union of Somali Journalists said there are business people who want to make fame through the media.
“They should use the media advance the cause of peace,” he said.
Somali Radios Stations
Radio is favored over print by most Somalis, mainly due to high rates of illiteracy, with Somalia’s most authoritative news coming from the BBC and VOA Somali Services.
1. Radio Mogadishu - state radio (popular)
2. Radio Shabelle - belongs to Abdimalik Yusuf Somali, based in Londan (popular)
3. Radio Danan - belongs to Mohamed Fiyore Somali, a journalist and author, based in London
4. Radio Risaala - belongs to former Minister of Information Dahir Mohamud Gelle
5. Radio Jubba - belongs to Abdulaziz Mayow, based in Denmark
6. Radio VOD - belongs to Da’ud Gabeyre, based in USA
7. Radio Voice of Peace - belongs to Ahmed Ali Ahmed, based in Nairobi
8. Radio Al-Furqan - belongs to pro al-Shabaab businessmen, based in Mogadishu
9. Radio Simba - belongs to Abdulahi Ali Farah Atosh, based in Mogadishu
10. Radio Maanta (Radio Today) - belongs to Adow Ali Gees, based in Mogadishu (new)
11. Radio Andulus - belongs to al-Shabaab
12. Radio Dalsan - belongs to Somali youth with different backgrounds (new)
13. Radio Kulmiye – belongs to Osman Abdulahi Gure, based in Mogadishu (popular)
14. Radio Africa - belongs to Somali youth
15. Radio Sahan- belongs to Mohamed Abdulahi Bashi, based in Paris (newly re-established)
16. Radio Benadir - belongs to Ahmed Nor Ali, based in Mogadishu (one of the longest running)
17. Radio Mustaqbal - belongs to a group of youths from the UK and Somalia (new)
18. Radio Hurmo - belongs to Somali civil society, Peace and Human Rights Network (PHRN)
19. Radio IQK - Koranic Radio, belongs to Da’ud Gabeyre, based in USA
20. Radio Bar-Kulan - FM based in Mogadishu, UN sponsored (popular)
21. Radio Star FM - FM based in Mogadishu
Somali Language Television Stations
1. Universal TV, London based
2. Somali National TV - government run, Mogadishu based
3. S24TV - Dubai based
4. Royal24 - London based
5. Somali SatTV - London based
6. Horn Cable TV - London based
7. Somali Channel - London based
8. Somaliland National TV - Hargaisa based
Popular Somali Websites (Partial List)