It is observable that the traditional role of media is transformed. Erstwhile, as some scholars like Habermass noted, media played a big role not only in terms of informing citizens thereby serving as checks and balance but also in terms of shaping public opinion. Now, it seems the case that media has got a new role in the form of political activism in the international arena.
Just like it has become, almost, a norm for courts to engage in judicial activism, media activism should not be viewed as something unethical to the profession. However, this role of the media should come with a responsibility. Especially, trans-border media activism, if there is such a thing, should be given ethical and normative guidelines as to how it should be conducted in a way to respect the rights of nations too. Boundary between international arena and national arena, political issue and human rights issue should be clearly delineated. It has to operate in way that gives room for observing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations. If there are legal instruments in this regard, they should be given impetus to function as effective deterrent in the event of breach of principle related to respecting rights of states. If there is no convention yet, there is obviously a need to have one.
Yesterday, Aljazeera streaming organized discussion under the theme “Why is the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia also one of the most persecuted?” As well, questions were posted on Aljazeera streaming twitter page which sound as if Aljazeera‘s target is to incite ethnic tensions among Ethiopians, a matter which should be taken seriously. Some of the questions read: “Are you #Oromo? Do you identify as #Ethiopian? Why or why not?” “Do #Oromo people have enough political rights in #Ethiopia?” “Who is at fault when it comes to the marginalisation of the #Oromo people? #Ethiopia.” Besides, a portion of content presented by one the invited analyst who was present in the studio was totally incorrect and disseminating wrong information in a media outlet like that of Aljazeera which has a global reach could have a serious negative repercussion.
It does not mean that the forum Aljazeera provided or the agenda Aljazeera tried to push, whether it is understood as media activism or otherwise, will cause a political earthquake or something like that. But misinforming the public is a serious breach of media ethics. Virtually, Aljazeera was playing against the sovereignty of Ethiopia and that is a very serious matter which should never be tolerated. The way and the tone questions are framed are purely political. Many seem to speculate that the way Aljazeera behaved is due to Nile Dam effect. It may or may not be the case. It is in the interest of Aljazeera to explain the matter and apologize for it in a timely manner.
Otherwise, it is obvious that there were serious human rights violations in Ethiopia and there is still human rights violations in different parts of the country. Ethiopians irrespective of ethnic background are experiencing similar situations. In fact, there were repeated forced evictions of citizens in recent months which Aljazeera did not bother to report about, to the best knowledge of the editor. Quite a considerable cases of Human rights violations in the last twenty century are recorded and are available in the hands of reputable international human rights organizations. Aljazeera might benefit from consulting these records before trying to project a wrong image as to the nature and extent of human rights violations.
Again,where did the inspiration to see the violation from ethnic politics perspective came from and what is the intended purpose? Why Aljazeera went overboard is something that needs serious explanation!
keep on writing your garbage…. Oromia shall be free!!!
From GETACHEW REDA (Ethiopian Semay Editor);
Thanks for that wonderful commentary commented against the Arab media calling itself Aljezeera. The unbelievable character assassination by the criminal OLF cults aired for a longer period on Aljezeera TV to the world intentionally perpetrated by the permission from the infantile and illiterate girls of “The Stream” against Ethiopia and its people is an agenda of the Egyptian. As we all know Qatar and Egypt are members of the Arab block – it was this relation that Aljazeera carrying its Arab member duty to black mail the good name of Ethiopia using the criminal OLF cults viciously attacking Ethiopia with no one around to defend Ethiopia and encounter and expose the crime of OLF which is known by the International Human Rights watch and by Ethiopian Human Rights watch.
A letter of complaint need to be written to Aljezeera editor why he let these illiterate girls had a good time painting Ethiopian name in front of the world for extended period with no other opposition at all.
Even if the TPLF government refuse to participate with OLF as a terrorist organization- it is not only TPLF the only Ethiopia who can defend Ethiopia’s name and pride. Millions of Ethiopian are all over the world- why Aljezeera failed to find to encounter these criminals. Dr.Assefa Negash and many scholars who knows OLF crime and politics can be Aljezeera’s guest.
But, the Arabs never asleep against Ethiopia. We know it and they know it well too why they are using, Islam issue and Islamic Oromo and vicious OLF cults as well against Ethiopia.
When they invite Ethiopians, they need to select a vicious Ethiopian who can expose their lies and crimes- not an Ice cream and sugary diplomat ,,,,who can give the ball to the conative Western Sandwich eating addicts of OLF cults easily trying to be nice in front of the media.(Thanks (Getachew Reda Editor Ethiopian Semay)
Thank you for your comment. Giving platform for opposition is not a problem in itself. However, the way the framed the questions,as indicated in the editorial, is exceptionally unfair.
Another very regrettable aspect of it is that, it is noted that OLF (the last radical one) has a radically opposing view against Ethiopia and it is noted. If we put the issue of political morality and ethics aside, they should have been cautious about their “pragmatist” strategy.
If financial & “diplomatic” (propaganda) help from the Arab countries worked in the past for EPLF, it does not necessarily means that it will work for the surviving radical OLF sect too.
I totally lost my respect for these people. Whoever is against Ethiopia could be a friend. But Egypt the African Union has to gather information on this and do something about Egypt. probably, they already gave them office in Egypt or elsewhere in middle east ( with running coast).
It is a serious matter that has to be investigated.
Sorrry for late response. Indeed the OLF criminals are indeed terrorists and they are heading to the exact similar road of the Boko Haram of Nigeria and Al-Shababa of Somalia. Here is the evidence Aljezeera girls need to see, if, they have brain to research. This is on You Tube, or poasted on my Ethiopian Semay blog. It is scary to the East African Community.
[New Documentary ] Islamic Oromo Nationalism and The Future…
Thanks Getachew Reda (Editor Ethiopian Semay)
Thank you for sharing the video. While I do not doubt that Radical ethno-religious politics clearly represent danger, I would love to get more information about this video. “Research Institute of Ethiopia” ?