Friday, October 21, 2011

The Silence of The Swedish Media, Is it conspiracy of silence or political correctness?

I've been (of course many Ethiopians across the globe) passionately following about the jailed Swedish journalists since day one not only because they're fellow journalists but also for the very same reason that they are human-beings whose lives are being endangered like hundreds of thousands of arbitrarily arrested Ethiopian prisoners. Many of us showed/continue our protests in different forms (petitions, demonstration, etc) at home and abroad through different mediums such as social networks & mainstream medias etc. Unfortunately, I see/saw neither empathy nor solidarity nor media coverage from our counterparts in Sweden. I tried to raise this issue by commenting on their websites and blogs but a few are interested even to publish my comments.

Astonishingly, I saw cry baby newstories on twitter these couple of days which complain that J & M court hearings were not covered by the local Ethiopian media. Doesn't that sound so egocentric? I was like seriously and I started to do my little research on Google. For a starter, Ethiopian journalists are living under dictatorship and secondly some of them even dared to publish/air about the hearing; didn't J & M's story get much coverage that's another story. Well, google search results show who's covering whose story as follows. I tried advanced search to minimize search errors and to limit to certain search locations (Ethiopia, Stockholm, Sweden) and languages but unfortunately Amharic- the official language of Ethiopia- is not listed on google's language lists so I chosen any language. Unfortunately, most of media outlets in Ethiopia don't have their own website and mainly use the local languages and for that reason google's result include aggregates from different websites/blogs across the globe even though I tried to limit the location to Addis Ababa. Let's start google's search results of J & M's story coverage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Johan Persson's google advanced search result in Addis Ababa brings 525 hits

His colleague's result on the other hand gives around 511 hits

Here's google search results of Eskinder Nega, Reyoot Alemu & Woubshet Taye in Sweden since last month

surprise, Eskinder Nega the renown Ethiopian blogger/journalists gives 5 hits: Svd & arbetaren zenit were generous

Reyoot Alemu an English teacher/columnist of Fetih newspaper who was arrested on similar charges of J &M and her google search results in Sweden gives 1 hit

Meanwhile Woushet Taye of Awramba who was arrested along with Reyoot gets one hit from google search in Sweden.

Let's see J & M's google search result in their home country and do the math to compare with their counterparts results of Ethiopians

Guess what Johan's results is 400,000 hits and Martin's result isn't far less. Let's be fair the proportion of media coverages of Ethiopians v Swedes is 1 to 100K. On the other hand J & M score a swooping more than 500 google hit results in Ethiopia and as everybody see their Ethiopian counterparts hit results are nowhere in the Swedish media and yet these same media outlets which ignored and are/were indifferent about the miseries of Ethiopian journalists are waynning about the lack of coverages to their kins' case in the Ethiopian media. One can see how the Swedish media foregrounded and out-poured zillions of opinions, expertise, comments about J & M's imprisonment through various methods to earn local and international sympathy while deliberately sidelining/downplaying about the rest of Ethiopian journalists who have been charged with the same crimes. I wonder if it's a conspiracy of silence or political correctness not to anger the spoiled boy in Addis. It's not only untrue that there's a lack of coverage on J & M's case by Ethiopian media but also unfair and selfish to ask them (some of them which risked to do stories) to beat up their chest provided they're living in one of the countries listed as the worst enemy of journalists.

No comments:

Post a Comment