Biruk Endale wrote on his facebook page that he was thinking about other journalists and students who are studying journalism when he decided to quit from sate television, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation
by Dimetros Birku (twitter : @dimetros)
Biruk Endale worked for State Television,named Ethiopian Broadcasting Television recently, for about for years. Like many of journalists in the state media, he endured notorious censorship and intervention from management in the works of journalists.
But this time around something that challenges his conscience happened.
On May 12,2017, he interview Ethiopia’s popular singer, Teddy Afro, regarding his new album “Ethiopia.” He was in the residence of the singer along with other Ethiopian Broadcasting Television crew.
In fact, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation did not take the lead in covering the story of Teddy’s new album. Biruk Endale and his crew was sent after other international media outlets gave an extensive coverage on the new album.
Teddy Afro caught the attention of international mainstream media soon after his new album became a hit on Billboard ; it also got more than three million hits on YouTube in a matter of days.
Among others, The Associated Press,The Washington Post and had an extensive coverage of Teddy Afro’s new album and Voice of America covered the story.
Biruk Endale sounded excited to announce on his facebook page that the interview with Teddy Afro was to be aired on Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation Sunday entertainment TV program on May 14, 2017.
Apparently, authorities in charge of censorship were not too happy about the interview that they had to cancel it.
But from the latest facebook update of journalist Biruk Endale, there was controversy within EBC. It is when he realized that the interview is indeed banned not to be aired.
Clearly, Biruk Endale had hard time to accept that a content produced for entertainment audience did not pass censorship and caused controversy.
Translation of four lines resignation letter he wrote to EBC reads, “It is to be remembered that I have been working with Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation for four years. However, due to recent controversy, I do not have the moral capacity continue [with EBC] and I have resigned.”
Teddy Afro’s new album became very popular in Ethiopia ; about six hundred thousand copies were sold within a week after the album was released.
Journalism has always been under repression in Ethiopia but when government dares to extend the repression to the realm of art and music, it perhaps tells story of why many describe Ethiopian government as paranoid government.
In fact, Teddy Afro was jailed in the past for nearly two years with trumped up charges.
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