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Fighting for Freedom of the Press in Ethiopia and AidBlogWorld

Had a fascinating lunch today with Dawit Kebede, the courageous editor of the only remaining independent newspaper in Addis Ababa.  He is getting a  2010 International Press Freedom Award tonight in New York from the Committee to Protect Journalists. I hope he gets lots more recognition for what he’s doing to preserve a neutral, independent voice.

Thank goodness we have press freedom here at home…oops, Dennis Whittle points out we don’t. At least not for many aid bloggers, who have to remain anonymous for fear of losing their jobs.

Could the CPJ consider an award for those aid bloggers? Alas, it would still have to be anonymous, unlike Ethiopia.

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6 Comments

  1. dlynn wrote:

    I have always found “Tales From the Hood” irritating because he uses his anonymity only to defend virtuous NGO program staff against evil NGO marketing staff. I don’t work for NGOs – I’ve only worked for the UN/donor governments (pilllory me as you will) – so I don’t care about the internal conflicts he chronicles. And I think it’s clear that his first priority is keeping his own job, which seems to be donor relations at HQ.

    So no – he does not impress me more than the only independent newspaper editor in Addis. Did I fail your quiz, Mr. Easterly?

    Posted November 23, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Permalink
  2. Dave Algoso wrote:

    I know what you’re getting at with this post — protect critics of the status quo — but there’s a big difference between being an aid blogger and running a newspaper in an authoritarian country.

    On the one hand you have an employer that worries about the public relations impacts of non-communications staff making statements that could be tied to the organization. And on the other hand you have the force of an oppressive state apparatus bearing down on citizens exercising civil liberties.

    To me, these don’t even belong on the same scale.

    Posted November 23, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Permalink
  3. 7m wrote:

    Noting that individual bloggers often have even less protection than
    To me, these don’t even belong on the same scale.

    Posted November 23, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Permalink
  4. Inde Hewan wrote:

    The tongue-in-cheek nature of Bill’s comparison between the threats some U.S. bloggers face and that of journalists in oppressive Ethiopia seems to have been lost on most commentators…

    Posted November 24, 2010 at 7:18 am | Permalink
  5. Crass.

    Posted November 24, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink
  6. Andy wrote:

    God bless the self-styled experts of the aid blog community, most of whom no one knows and are only considered “important” due to the fact that they are quite vocal and make themselves heard.

    Truly they are heroes, second to none.

    Posted November 24, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

4 Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by William Easterly, William Easterly and Tom Murphy, Conduit Journal. Conduit Journal said: Fighting for Freedom of the Press in Ethiopia and AidBlogWorld http://bit.ly/gXsRcc [...]

  2. [...] Easterly of AidWatch also had some kudos for Kebede, noting that individual bloggers often have even less protection than [...]

  3. [...] Watch gripes that anonymous aid bloggers are… well, anonymous. Thank goodness we have press freedom here at home…oops, Dennis Whittle points out we don’t. At [...]

  4. [...] Fighting for Freedom of the Press in Ethiopia and AidBlogWorld [...]