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Archive for November 28th, 2009

The World’s Changing — The Media Isn’t

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on November 28, 2009

What do Ethiopia, Israel and Christianity have in common? The answer is: the three are permanently ridiculed and bashed by the self-hating world liberal media,

What do negative media images, conveyed by mainstream Western Media about Ethiopia communicate? What darkness prevails in the mind of the producer(s)? What gains for whom derive from journalistic bombast and unmitigated stereotype of the whole Ethiopian nation?

Nouns and adjectives like famine, drought, hunger, disease, AIDS, tribe, tribalism, underdeveloped, third world, dictatorship, corruption, over population, war, civil war, etc., are yet pervasive when Ethiopia is the story.

Ethiopia’s image in the Western Media is not a self-portrait. It is not a what you see is what you get. Because media conditioning shapes, molds, and monopolizes those images, references to Ethiopia are received sometimes with disdain and contempt. Even some Ethiopian descendants, who have virtually no cultural and moral competence, actually contribute to how Ethiopia is projected globally. Ashamed of their recent “heritage and socioeconomic development” some popular Ethiopian news-makers and blogs side with media characterizations projected through stories, datelines, specials, documentaries and nightline episodes. This attitude, while supremely disturbing, also abets the media-as if they need assistance-in defaming Ethiopia.

Of course, I don’t dare to blame for Ethiopia’s woes solely on the Western medias. They have been sufficiently aided and abetted by inept, corrupt and short-sighted political leadership and intellectuals who in my opinion must take most of the blame. Political figures and leading personalities who sold their souls to the Devil are the first who are exposing their people to all sorts of ignorance and exploitation

Yet, this permanent portrayals of Ethiopia in a bad light can only spread and prolong ignorance in a world much closer in proximity than ever before a media industry that thrives on the negative.

Ethiopia’s negative and contrived image, promoted in the Mainstream Media, pervades the psyche, pre-empts behaviors, infers worthlessness, and devalues the mind, while it attenuates human spirituality and connectivity: key ingredients in equitable planetary wealth sharing.

I wonder why the likes of the BBC have devoted a great deal of their resources and energy toward painting Ethiopia in a negative light for such a long time.

Those so affected by this practice must not only instigate its demise, but also they must independently try to research, investigate and study why these media-outlets are meanwhile famous to report in a meanspirited manner about our country.

Ethiopians attack BBC’s doom-laden coverage

I was expecting to see Ethiopian blogs post this particular news. None of them did, what a shame!

Ethiopian tour operators, in London for this month’s World Travel Market, have addressed a furious open letter to the BBC’s Director General, concerning the Corporation’s recent coverage of the drought in Ethiopia. The letter, signed by some 25 companies, accuses the BBC of casually dramatizing its broadcasts with footage from the infamous 1984 famine.

“Ethiopia,” they wrote, “has changed beyond all recognition since 1984, yet the BBC insists on showing images from that time. They are very intrusive and are deeply upsetting to many millions of Ethiopians.”

But beyond the matter of stung pride, the tour operators insist that the “doom-laden scenario” implied by the BBC’s use of old newsreel damages the national image, deterring foreign investment and scaring off tourists. “Investment, trade and tourism are key to Ethiopia’s development,” they claim “more so than aid.”

Which is true. The tourism industry currently accounts for approximately five per cent of Ethiopia’s GDP and tourism is a “featured component” of the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. With about 400,000 tourists a year, the country is still not exactly a hotspot, but adroit marketing of events like the 2007 ‘millennium’ and the annual Addis ‘Marathon’ (10km) have seen visitor numbers increase steadily over the last five years (visitors, incidentally, who invariably comment on green the country is).

Continue reading…

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