London(Horn)- “The BBC doesn’t take sides and it has strict editorial guidelines to follow when it comes to impartiality. We aim to report the wider picture and to reflect a wide range of views on all our platforms – not just on TV.” This was stated by Mr. Farhan Jimale, the BBC Sopmali TV presenter in reaction to query pertaining to numerous claims by the BBC Somali listeners, during an exclusive interview with our sister paper Geeska Afrika,
Apart from issues of partiality the interview touched on several other issues poignant to its numerous Somali language specific services which have seen a recent deterioration despite diversity which includes many FM stations, online outlets and newly introduced BBC Somali TV, among others.
In response the British broadcaster argued that to the contrary “BBC Somali continues to be most trusted news source in the region, including Somaliland adding that its Somali service is known for its long reputation of journalism based on accuracy and unbiased reporting.
Read below verbatim excerpts ofntje interview
With many FM stations for Somali language, also available on internet, what do you think the new BBC Somali TV will increase news wise
There are many FM stations and Somali online news outlets. BBC Somali TV’s aim is to offer global and regional stories in order for our Somali audiences to join the global conversation. Our aim is to reach young and aspirational Somalis who are increasingly consuming news via TV, digital and social media platforms. We hope this TV programme will soon become essential viewing for Somali audiences globally.”
How balanced do you expect the TV will be as pertains Somali news in a region controlled by old line politicians?
There are already a number of TV stations operating in the market, but BBC Somali is in a unique position to offer stories and perspectives based on very highs standards of fairness, accuracy and impartiality. The BBC’s editorial independence is
paramount. Audiences around the world trust us because we are independent, impartial and accurate and we will aim to do this with the TV programme.
BBC has been regularly accused of partiality towards Somalia as pertains Somaliland, what is your take? And do you promise impartiality?
BBC doesn’t take sides and it has strict editorial guidelines to follow when it comes to impartiality. We aim to report the wider picture and to reflect a wide range of views on all our platforms – not just on TV.
Whenever there is feeling that we might have fallen short, we investigate and address issues that arise in accordance with well-established BBC complaints procedures, which anyone can access. We act quickly to rectify mistakes whenever they happen regardless of circumstances.
Can you explain the reasons behind the hiring of some local Somali TV Chanel’s by BBC?
The BBC’s has four partners Horn Cable TV, Kalsan TV, Somali Broadcast Corporation and Star TV Network who will be delivering content to viewers. We have gone through a process to ensure the stations we selected have fulfilled certain requirements. It is important to highlight that the BBC already has existing radio partners within the region who broadcast Somali content. And of course, we will still be available on radio – and online, where you can view the new TV programme.
Many believe the quality of BBC Somali service has gone very low, more so they believe it is because of its partiality towards Somalia and down lowering Somaliland, what is your take?
I believe the opposite is the case. BBC Somali continues to be most trusted news source in the region, including Somaliland. As mentioned above, we do not take sides and BBC Somali is known for its long reputation of journalism based on accuracy and unbiased reporting.
You can watch BBC Somali online at www.bbcsomali.com and via the following partner stations Horn Cable TV, Kalsan TV, Somali Broadcast Corporation and Star TV Network