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“We agreed on the important role a free and independent media should play in Somalia, and welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the killing of journalists, and to promote press freedom.”
(Somalia Conference 2013: Official Communiqué at GOV.UK.)

Yesterday’s conference communiqué was unambiguous on the need to protect the media in Somalia. Here’s a selection of the international groups working on media policy issues in Somalia, and a couple of recent reports about the media environment in the country – let us know via the comments what we’re missing, and we’ll update the list.

EU fact sheet from Dec 2012 detailing some of the activities of the Somalia Media Support Group of donors, NGOs, and international organisations, and insights into the future strategy for supporting Somalia’s media sector to 2015
CIMA‘s compilation of where Somalia sits in various international press freedom rankings
– Somalia sits in 2nd position in the CPJ’s Impunity Index for killings of journalists
Article 19 has been tracking the development of Somalia’s media law, and recently held a conference on protection of journalists in Mogadishu
– the BBC’s media development arm, BBC Media Action, produced a media environment analysis and a policy briefing about the role of the media in 2011
– the InfoAsAid project we featured a couple of weeks ago includes a pretty comprehensive Somalia media/telecoms landscape report from early 2012 (also here)
– the Center for Law and Democracy published a media law and policy review for Somalia in late 2012 (here’s a piece from Albany Associates about the report)
– Albany Associates is also supporting the government and the UN’s AMISOM more broadly on communications
NORAGRIC is a less usual source for media landscape information, but here’s their March 2012 report on Somalia
– Danish NGO IMS supports a Somali radio station, Radio Ergo
Global Voices covers Somalia with reasonable regularity, as has the Guardian‘s Data Blog

And finally, here are some stats on social media usage in Somalia, courtesy of Social Bakers.

Iran’s pre-election atmosphere is tense due to declining economic conditions, acute inflation, in-fighting among various factions within the government, the effect of sanctions on goods and services, and continued international scrutiny due to Iran’s nuclear program. The memories of the 2009 elections are etched in the public’s consciousness, thereby, adding pressure during this election season and, making the media’s actions a significant site of contention. On the one hand, the resurgence of a few independent media outlets could signal the loosening of some restrictions, but at the same time, it is just as likely to be a regime gimmick to lure the public into participating in the election. The latter can be seen as a risky strategy because of the potential for these more vociferously critical outlets to stir up political unrest among those opposed to the regime, and the recent arrests are likely part of this anxiety. Consequently, some Parliament officials, such as MP Ahmadreza Dastgheyb, have seized upon this as an opportunity to introduce further provisions into the current Press Law in the run-up to the election, strengthening the regime’s ability to supervise media activities, such as publishing potentially provocative content that “might cause harm to the country.” Similarly, the De

Iran’s pre-election atmosphere is tense due to declining economic conditions, acute inflation, in-fighting among various factions within the government, the effect of sanctions on goods and services, and continued international scrutiny due to Iran’s nuclear program. The memories of the 2009 elections are etched in the public’s consciousness, thereby, adding pressure during this election season and, making the media’s actions a significant site of contention. On the one hand, the resurgence of a few independent media outlets could signal the loosening of some restrictions, but at the same time, it is just as likely to be a regime gimmick to lure the public into participating in the election. The latter can be seen as a risky strategy because of the potential for these more vociferously critical outlets to stir up political unrest among those opposed to the regime, and the recent arrests are likely part of this anxiety. Consequently, some Parliament officials, such as MP Ahmadreza Dastgheyb, have seized upon this as an opportunity to introduce further provisions into the current Press Law in the run-up to the election, strengthening the regime’s ability to supervise media activities, such as publishing potentially provocative content that “might cause harm to the country.” Similarly, the De

Jagland’s visit shows just how critical role the Council of Europe system is playing in Turkey in terms of democracy and freedom of expression, a system of which the ECHR is also a very significant part. No matter how much vagueness lies ahead amid the constant turbulence of Turkey’s relations with the European Union, institutional cooperation with the Council of Europe continues to progress on a steady basis on its own track without being affected by these zigzags on the EU front.We need to accept that the Council of Europe is the most important Western institution today in terms of the capacity to affect and steer goals related to democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Turkey. Consequently, the strengthening of Turkey’s engagement with the Council of Europe has vital significance in terms of these targets.

Jagland’s visit shows just how critical role the Council of Europe system is playing in Turkey in terms of democracy and freedom of expression, a system of which the ECHR is also a very significant part. No matter how much vagueness lies ahead amid the constant turbulence of Turkey’s relations with the European Union, institutional cooperation with the Council of Europe continues to progress on a steady basis on its own track without being affected by these zigzags on the EU front.We need to accept that the Council of Europe is the most important Western institution today in terms of the capacity to affect and steer goals related to democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Turkey. Consequently, the strengthening of Turkey’s engagement with the Council of Europe has vital significance in terms of these targets.