Foreign Media are not fair in many ways to Positive narratives about Africa, CAJ can build the missing link
Amina Mussa Wehelie is a Somali/British Senior Journalist living in UK. A former BBC World Service; African Region, Somali Section Producer. Amina is an international journalist wearing many hats; journalist, life Coach, Mental health Advocate, Media Trainer and actress. She is a foundation member of CAJ and the President of CAJ UK.
How would you describe your days as journalist with BBC World Service, Somali?
It was a mixed experience over the years, I was working with BBC World Service for about 11 years. It served as a big break for my journalism career, and it was experience I will never forget. I got a lot of credibility working with such a big corporation and I was becoming a star as the only female voice at Somali section for most of my days there. Till now, people remember my voice and mention me all the time.
Considering your experience, what would you say are the challenges of working as journalist for a local media and that of foreign media organisation?
There's always challenges; for local news medium, you work on local policy but the foreign media organisation, you should think about both your own people as listener and the corporation's policy,. But the media Ethics is always consistent. You should always be careful of what you are covering especially when translating news between languages to make sure the messaging and tone is in line with the original content.
In your opinion, do you think the foreign media are fair enough in respect to positive reportage on Africa continent?
When you are inside foreign media sphere, sometimes you would be internally torn apart because you don’t want your country or continent stamped as 'the continent of death and destruction; the land of hunger' while Africa my original home in reality is a wealthy continent with farms, livestock, minerals, gold, jewels, etc. So, I would say no, it is not fair in so many ways.
What would you want to say about CAJ being one of it's foundation member?
I would say, CAJ is particularly a good opportunity for all of us, African journalists, all over the world, to be under one umbrella striving for change, rebuilding our continent's destroyed image. I would say here is our chances to make a change with our own pens and papers, our voices on radios and on television. it is just a great organisatiin with vision which God will make true, so there we go.
Do you believe CAJ as a pan African journalists organisation can fill up the missing link when it comes to Africa's image laundering?
Yes, definitely, I think it is now or never for us, we are willing to change the image of our continent ruined by foreign media. Lets show the beauty of our continent and our people.
In your country; Somalia, how would you describe the relationship between the journalists and the government?
Not getting better, they are still arresting, holding peers in jail with no prosecution in an abduction like manner, killing of journalists is still happening, and there is huge corruption which hinders the journalists work especially targeting female journalists, I hope it will get better in the future.
As the President of CAJ in the United Kingdom, what's your agenda for the organisation?
I am planning a lot from here. First and foremost, my duty is to identify the other journalists from Africa who are practising journalism in the UK, getting them the training they need, then having contacts with other organisation established in the UK in order to work together towards the same goals. Adding new members to CAJ and from now on giving an access point to the local UK media, so they would know who to contact if they want to reach CAJ.