12 August 2007 - According to Somali media sources, many natives are showing frustration at the allegedly one sided reporting of the BBC Somali service.
Most recently, Somalis criticized the BBC coverage of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) dominated conference in Eritrea. Most of the criticism was targeted at one of the correspondents named Yusuf Garad who is alleged to have labeled the Islamists in Eritrea as a “government in exile.”
Another critic stated that the Ethiopian occupation of Somalia needs to end as soon as possible and “the only way to achieve this is if we unite to pacify Mogadishu so that the government can proceed in more important endeavors like development.”
The starkest criticism of all claimed what BBC Somali service is doing is “nothing short of media propaganda war.” Accordingly, some of the techniques being used are said to include the use of selective stories, narrow source of experts and at times even distorting facts.
One of these critics, by the name of Mohamed Jibrell, said “We need a broadcasting media that does objective reporting and unbiased news analysis. A media that transcends our past turbulent environment.” He said many Somalis are disheartened by the use of Media to encourage more violence in Mogadishu. They claimed “BBC Somali is losing credibility with the average Somali listeners, due to the alternative VOA and the internet.”
Additional criticism often comes from the semi-autonomous Somaliland region, where citizens claim their views are not represented and accuse the Somali correspondents of BBC for reporting "as if there has been a government in Mogadishu" the last 16 years. Somaliland declared independence in 1991, but no country and no organization has recognized it as a sovereign state.
Source: Jimma Times