Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ethiopian immigrants graduate journalism course - Globes

Agenda Center CEO Anat Saragusti: They have a social responsibility to serve as role models for their community.

14 February 12 12:44, Roy Barak
A journalism and communications course for young Israelis from the Ethiopian community recently came to an end at Agenda Israeli Center for Strategic Communications. 14 students, all of whom hold a Bachelor's degree, participated in the course in which they learned the basics of journalism: how to identify a good story, how to structure it, how to write headlines, and how to write news items. The course participants also learned how to prepare TV reports, edit interviews, investigate leads, report from the field, narration, and finally, editing the entire report. Ten students graduated from the course.

The philosophy behind the course was that the Ethiopians who will work in the media in Israel can present the Ethiopian community in a way that does not just show misery, injustice and racism, but helps to integrate the entire Ethiopian immigrant community into Israeli society.

"The aim of the course is to integrate the participants as journalists in work in media, so that they can generate the news themselves," explains Agenda CEO Anat Saragusti, who is also the field expert and director of the television studies courses. "They have a social responsibility to serve as role models for their community, and also to be role models for the rest of the Israeli community for them to see that there are people of Ethiopian origin who are TV news presenters, and not because they aren't being let into clubs or because people are not selling apartments to them, or because a husband murdered his wife. They need to try to break this stereotype."

False coverage

"My initial motivation in choosing to study journalism was actually not from a sense of having a mission," says Yisraela Tadela, who was born in Israel in 1985, a year after her parents immigrated to Israel. "From the beginning, I felt a desire to write and to influence. I wanted those around me to hear me and my ideas about journalism, which I think are different than those currently being voiced."

"I decided to participate in the course as a result of encouragement from Brahenu Taganya from Channel 2. He really pushed me," Tziona Deseta says, who was brought to Israel as a one-month-old baby in 1983. Deseta currently works for the Ethiopian TV station.

"When I go out to gather information for articles, I feel like I am working from a sense of love for the profession. But I have a hard time since I don't speak Amharic well," Deseta says. "My place is in the Israeli, Hebrew language media."

Despite her desire to move over to the Israeli mainstream, high-rating media, Deseta describes significant differences in coverage styles from her colleagues at the broadcasting stations. "When I watch sequences on other channels that cover the same subject matter, I can't help but see how different they are from what I edit and film."

130,000 Israelis are of Ethiopian origin are currently living in Israel. About 5,000 of them have academic degrees, and the number of those who work in journalism can be counted on two hands.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on February 14, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 201

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ethiopia PM says may pardon jailed politicians, journalists | Reuters

Wed Feb 8, 2012 11:04am EST
* Rights groups say 150 detained since 2009
* Journalists among arrested, including two Swedes
* Ethiopia denies it is cracking down on dissent
By Aaron Maasho
ADDIS ABABA, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said on Wednesday Ethiopia could pardon politicians and journalists arrested under a 2009 anti-terrorism law, but dismissed opposition criticism he was using the law to clamp down on dissent.
Rights groups say the government has used the law to crack down on its opponents, saying 150 opposition politicians and supporters have been detained under its provisions in the past three years.
Zenawi rejected the complaints, telling parliament: "All trials are transparent, all suspects are allowed access to lawyers and some have even been freed when no evidence was found to justify their arrests."
"But we would also consider granting clemency if culprits admit guilt and to making mistakes," he said in response to questions from lawmakers.
Ethiopia passed the bill after bombings in a number of towns and subsequently branded as terrorist organisations the secessionist Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), the exiled Ginbot 7 movement, al Qaeda and Somalia's al Shabaab militants.
Meles dismissed rights groups' complaints that the scope of the anti-terrorism law was too broad, saying it was copied "word-for-word" from those of Western countries.
"We haven't changed a word, a comma even, as those laws emanate from countries with vast democratic experience," he said.
Ten journalists are among those charged under the anti-terrorism law, including two Swedes sentenced in December to 11 years in prison for aiding the outlawed ONLF and entering the country illegally.
Reporter Martin Schibbye and photographer Johan Persson say they were in Ethiopia's Ogaden province to investigate the activities of an oil company that bought licences in Ethiopia in 2009 from Sweden's Lundin Petroleum.
Meles compared the case to that of Britain's phone-hacking scandal, which led to the arrest of several journalists and prompted Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to close its best-selling Sunday tabloid, News of the World.
"These two journalists violated Ethiopia's laws. No journalist can escape charges if rules are broken," Meles said.
"Phone-tapping is criminal enough to have journalists stand trial, let alone aiding a terrorist group and entering a country illegally," he said.
Rights groups have called for their release and Sweden, the European Union and United States have expressed concern. The two Swedes are seeking clemency rather than lodging an appeal, in the hope of securing a quicker release. (Editing by David Clarke and Jon Boyle)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Swedes meet Ethiopian PM over jailed journalists - The Local

Swedes meet Ethiopian PM over jailed journalists

Swedes meet Ethiopian PM over jailed journalists

Published: 5 Feb 12 12:41 CET | Double click on a word to get a translation

A senior Swedish delegation has met in secret with Ethiopia's prime minister Meles Zenawi to discuss the case of two Swedish journalists jailed in the country for terror crimes, according to media reports.

The Swedish delegation headed by foreign minister Carl Bildt's right hand Fredrik Belfrage met recently with Zenawi for bilateral talks, according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily, which cites Ethiopian state radio as its source.

The Swedish foreign ministry has however declined to comment on the reports.

Reporter Martin Schibbye and photographer Johan Persson - both freelancers - were arrested in Ethiopia's Ogaden region on July 1st after entering the country from Somalia.

The pair were jailed for 11 years by an Ethiopian court in December after being found guilty of supporting terrorism and entering the country illegally.

The journalists both testified they were in Ethiopia to report on the activities of the Swedish oil company Lundin Petroleum in the Ogaden.

Prior to becoming foreign minister after the 2006 election, Carl Bildt sat on the board of Lundin Petroleum and he has been subjected to criticism for perceived inaction since the journalists' arrest.

Social Democrat Marita Ulvskog has criticised Carl Bildt for not taking the opportunity to meet Zenawi at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, which they both attended.

Carl Bildt's press secretary has defended the foreign ministry's "quiet diplomacy" approach to the case.

"The discussions which we conduct, when we conduct them and what we say is nothing we publicise as we are convinced that it wouldn't benefit Schibbye and Persson," Anna-Charlotta Johansson told DN.

Schibbye and Persson announced in January that they do not intend to appeal their sentences and instead invest their hopes on the country's "tradition of pardon".

For a pardoning process to commence, the two Swedes will have to pen a letter to the Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi.

They will also need to confess in writing and apologize for entering the country illegally and being in contact with the rebel group ONLF.

The Local/pvs (

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15:15 February 5, 2012 by RobinHood
Mr Zenawi will explain how much "aid" must be secretly transferred from Sweden into his private Swiss bank account. The "aid" will be paid, the journalists released, and Mr Zenawi will buy a row of expensive houses in London, and a Ferrari.

Such is life in Ethiopia.
17:45 February 5, 2012 by T.M
Meles was simply extending his enjoyment of two humiliated foreigners and to score points with the government of Sweden because the latter had spoken against the unjust imprisonment of Birtukan Mideksa. The Swedes' lawyers were smart for not appealing the case and instead taking the pardon route. One thing they did not understand is that the pardon Meles talked about is NOT Ethiopian at all. It is his proven method of causing permanent damage to his victims. Once pardoned none could get back to participate in national issues. They are to keep silent and/or encouraged to leave their country - and shut their lips tight in the country of their exile! We are not exaggerating this at all. Meles's right hand man Information Minister Bereket in 2011 had approached both the VOA and Deutsche Welle stations to not broadcast opposition voices because his government identified these as terrorists!

The problem with the Swedish journalists is that Meles will not be able to enforce his other agenda, that is, muzzle them for life! He must be regretting he offered the pardon in the first place. The two Swedes did take a chance to report on the plight of the Ogadenis and Oromo insurgents. Meles has called the insurgents terrorists. Ethiopians who challenge him are also terrorists. The fact that Meles says so does not make it true, however. Read More in Ethiopian Recycler