The news media play a significant role of reporting the third world

As we all know, Ethiopia experienced a very dark period thirty years ago, especially in Tigray province that suffered the pain of famine. The BBC’s Michael Buerk described this place as “the closest thing to hell on earth”. However, as time goes by, local people are making every effort to turn a part of the desert into green place by using traditional techniques.

The local people, male and female as long as over 18 years old, they will have a compulsory community labour that probably last 20 days. They use various tools such as pick, shovels and iron bars to construct terraces in order to collect more rain water. As a consequence, people in Tigray have made a success because they have changed a whole barely maintain into terraces. It is admitted that they make a miracle.

However, although people in Tigray deal with water shortages in some way, they are still facing up with electricity problem. As far as I am concerned, this report from the BBC is objective because it not only reports an achievement that they make but also tell audiences what the problem is nowadays.

Just like Escobar (1994) thinks the countries in the third world have developed rapidly and they need help but also they should be self-reliance. Moreover, news media organizations may put more attention to development of the third world to report it for the whole world.

Note: Escobar, A. (1994). Encountering development: the making and unmaking of the third world. New Jersey, NY: Princeton University Press (Introduction + Chapter 1)

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News sometimes glossed over the reality

As most news media organizations report, Ethiopia has developed quickly like a rocket. A great deal of readers think Ethiopia has changed a lot according to news from the media. However, when someone actually comes to Ethiopia and finds that it is very different from the reports.

The government of Ethiopia implements a lot of policies and takes many actions (such as supplying cheaper labor in order to attract more investments from foreigners and strengthening cooperation with neighbors and so on) to increase its economy.

Indeed, these actions do increase their economy and quality of life of Ethiopian to some extent. Nevertheless, some bloggers go to Ethiopia and find a lot of building are empty, and many Ethiopia still are facing up living problems–no jobs and no home. Because the government wants to offer more land to foreign companies so local residents are drove out their homeland.

Therefore, it seems that Ethiopia has made a success to improve the standard of Ethiopians’ life. In fact, there are plenty of issues and glosses in Ethiopia. In my view, journalists have responsibilities for the audiences to reflect a real world rather than ignore or exaggerate the truth.

In the information age, it is easier to transmit news from one website to another and journalists can get information even do not need to go outside. Just because of this, journalists should make every effort to report objective news rather than quote news from other news media organizations (Berglez, 2008).

Note: Berglez, P., 2008. What Is Global Journalism? Journalism Studies, 9(October 2014), pp.845–858.

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Ethiopia Rises, but Challenges Remain

For a good while, Ethiopia was related to famine and hell as long as we mentioned it. Most of people in the world still cannot forget heartbreaking images of bony and malnourished children, male and female of this land.

Nowadays, Ethiopia almost can represent the power of ‘Africa Rising’ due to the dramatic development of the economy. From this report, we can find that the writer analyze the reason how Ethiopia gets the quick increase of economy, and there are two reasons:
  • The first one is country’s stability–Ethiopia has kept a stable structure of governance for 20 years. By contrast, the countries around Ethiopia are always being racked on a treadmill of political instability, such as Sudan and Egypt.
  • Secondly, the principle of the development of economy in Ethiopia is poverty reduction rather than economic growth. It attracts a lot investments from foreigners to get a win-win consequence.

From my perspectives, there is a different news angle between the news media organizations from western countries and African counties. This report is from and it just talks about the success that Ethiopia has made recently, although it wrote some challenges. Its news angle tends to report positives in Ethiopia.

However, like other blogs I have posted, some news organizations in western countries prefer to focus on raging war, violence or problems in Ethiopia. Berglez (2008) thinks journalists’ job is tell us what happened in the world but different new media organizations from different religions have different standpoints according to one event.

Note: Berglez, P., 2008. What Is Global Journalism? Journalism Studies, 9(October 2014), pp.845–858.

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News Media portrayed poverty exists stereotyping

I am always to find out positive changes that Ethiopia is going through such as their economic growth, a large flow of foreign investment or the development of new industries, and ignore what the true life that Ethiopians are living. Depending on this report from The Guardian, we can find that not all Ethiopians can accept these changes. Instead, the government even started using violence to threat their natives to get away from their homeland.

There is a long faced criticism that thousands on thousands of people in Ethiopia are forced relocating from their ancestral homes to keep out of the way for large-scale commercial land, which is good for foreign investors. These natives who moved to purpose-built communes will not enjoy a lot of basic social services. A native interviewers said ” last year, we had to move.The promises of food and other social services made by the government have not been fulfilled.”

Ethiopians think it is not development because investors destroy their lands and environment. Indeed, these things happened because the Ethiopian government did not regulate the relationship between Ethiopians and foreign investors and at the same time the government has not fulfills their promises. In addition, the government pays attention to economic development while ignore the interests of the residents.

As far as I am concerned, the news media portray poverty express two sides–positives and negatives. Generally, the news media prefer to regard the poor people as victims and compare them with the authority because of stereotyping (Clawson and Trice, 2000).

Note: Clawson, R. A., & Trice, R. (2000). Poverty as we know it: Media portrayals of the poor. Public Opinion Quarterly, 53-64.

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Ethiopia’s future is fashion forward

The official website of CNN has an international special column called Inside Africa. Recently it has taken its viewers on a journey across Africa, which is aimed to explore the diversity and distinctive cultures and countries. This week they found an interesting thing that the fashion industry of Ethiopia has changed a lot via the global fashion storm.

Indeed, there are an international supermodel and a world-famous designer. Except these, it also has a long history of textile industry. It is reported that a number of international companies have invested in Ethiopia such as H&M. A organizer of fashion magazine in Ethiopia said “I do see a trend of Ethiopian fashion going abroad ” and it used to be local not for the global market, but from then on ” it is starting to change”.

Maybe a lot of readers are curious about the development of Ethiopia because it still is one of the poorest countries in the world, and people are probably attracted by crisis or good news of developing countries. This news would meet the people’s curiosity. According to Cottle (2009) writes, we live in the global age and the news media have the capacity to help throw light on the dark side of global society and maintain the global perspective for people.

Note: Cottle, S. (2009). Global Crisis Reporting. Journalism in the Global Age. Berkshire: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill. Chapters 5 & 6.

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Chinese envoy to Ethiopia eyes enhanced Sino-Ethiopia cooperation

It is known that China and Ethiopia have been established the friendly and cooperative relations with each other for a long time. Both as the developing countries, they can support each other via commercial trade. La Yifan, who is newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, expressed that he would made a contribution to flourish economic and trade co-operation between China and Ethiopia.

La also said “Ethiopia had already been designated as a priority destination of the Chinese investment in areas of manufacturing, infrastructure, and poverty alleviation”. According to blogs of the last week, we can find that the relationship between both of two countries is cooperative and competitive. To be more specific, on one hand, due to the increased production cost in China, a great number of manufacturers have moved their factories to Ethiopia, so that they are competitive; on the other hand, China as one of the fast developing countries, it has more experience than Ethiopia and can offer investments and technology to Ethiopia, such as China help Ethiopia to build 4G service to develop telecoms industries of Ethiopia.

As far as I am concerned, the most important reason that these cooperation happened is globalization. In contemporary society, not only can globalization promote the development of the economy in developing countries, but also it can the development of global journalism because of global perspectives(Barbara Adams, 1996).

Note: Barbara Adams, ‘Re-vision: The centrality of time for an ecological social science perspective’ in Lash et al (ed.) (1996) Risk, Environment and Modernity

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Neither Friends nor Rivals are Everlasting, But Only Profits

According to BBC News reports, three leaders of African countries–Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan signed an agreement, which is about the sharing of the Nile waters and the building of a hydroelectric dam in Ethiopia.

As we all know, the Nile waters are flowing through Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, and the upper reach of this river is mainly crossing Ethiopia. So that if Ethiopia builds the dam, it will have an impact on agriculture of another two countries. Therefore, Egypt had objected the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam because they believe that it will lead to its water shortage worse.

However, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Halemariam Desalegn said this dam would “not cause any harm to downstream countries”, Reuters news agency reports. Finally, these countries’ leaders signed an agreement on this issue, which is based on the principle of reciprocity and mutual benefit.

A great number of news media organizations have paid attention to this event and they give a lot of space for this dam. In my view, the reason that the news media focus on this news is “a global perspective becomes part of everyday reality and a globalized present inescapably extends responsibility beyond representatives of local and national governments to the individual…” (Barbara Adams, 1996).

In addition, we can find a political principle due to this news, that is, there is no perpetual friend, nor perpetual enemy, only perpetual interest.

Note: Barbara Adams, ‘Re-vision: The centrality of time for an ecological social science perspective’ in Lash et al (ed.) (1996) Risk, Environment and Modernity

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