By Tomas sebsibe Ayele
Journalism is a tough profession in Ethiopia. When I say this, people might go to the obvious and assume the difficulties of journalism, which is demanding, risky and the like, or presume the repression of the media, which Ethiopia is known for. However, sometimes the everyday challenges of journalism in Ethiopia take different turns.
For the most part, in Ethiopia, journalists are not opinion leaders. They are just people who tell others whether a meeting is held or a new road is inaugurated. Except in one or two private newspapers, there is no well-researched critic, no balanced comment, no interpretations and analysis of speeches or actions. In many cases there is no in-depth examination of the news source whatsoever.
This should happen by the goverment.Ethiopian goverment only want the news that is postive a bout them.If you tell the fact to the public, the goverment charge the journalist as terrorist and finally he or she lives in prison.All Ethiopian media stations fear the goverment charge that why all Ethiopian need freedom.Our goverment give freedom of press only in the paper, we can not do it on the ground.So we Ethiopia say our goverment are not democrat,they are dictators.Before 25 years and now are the same for press.In both goverment press freedom not allowed in the country.If you say so, you will at risk.
Therefore, what is expected of journalists is much less than any one can imagine. He/she might not even need to understand fully what is about to be reported. Therefore, if one carefully observes journalists in any event, their only concern is to get the speech and press release if there is any. They might even leave the event after that if there is no free lunch or some per diem involved – yes, some sort of pay from the host. In Ethiopia, most organizations pay per diem for journalists who show up and most journalists would not miss that event. Needless to say this affects what is reported and what is not.
Ethiopia is the second worst jailer of journalists in Africa, with 10 imprisoned for their work at the time of CPJ’s annual prison census on December 1.There are many journalists in the jail.So many are scaped from the country.
Eskinder was arrested after publishing an article on the Arab Spring in which he asked whether a similar grass-roots movement for democracy could take hold in Ethiopia. He was charged under the draconian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation with providing support for terrorists and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Temesgen Desalegn was covering Eskinder’s trial and that of other journalists for Feteh (Justice) newspaper. In response the authorities prosecuted him for contempt of court. In October 2014 he was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of defamation, inciting the public through false rumors and false publication.
Woubshet Taye was arrested .she has serving a 14-year sentence in Zway prison. Ethiopia’s civic space is marred by deeply entrenched institutionalized violations of human rights. Journalists who dare to offer dissenting views are often silenced, or face arbitrary arrest, torture and detention. In January 2014, the state-controlled Ethiopian Press Agency and Ethiopian News Agency published a report claiming that the Addis Guday, Fact and Lomi magazines were promoting terrorism and damaging the economy. These media houses were subsequently shut down by the government. INow a days at least 25 journalists behind bars. Ethiopia also ranked fourth on CPJ’s 2015 list of the 10 Most Censored Countries.
Journalists are at the frontline of human rights reporting. They frequently put themselves at risk in order to bring human rights violations to the attention of the world. In return, the world must not forget them as they are voices of the voiceless and have sacrificed their liberty in pursuit of truth.
If you work in privaite or govermental press there is i always pressure. Everday journalists jailed, charged, scaped and there family also under police control.Under these condition our goverment still say am democrat for the world.I want to say some thing for EPDRF,you are the lier, not to lie west and give the freedom to the people.yWe need feedom in Ethiopia once agian.