Amid the deep economic, political and social debates surfacing in Ethiopia, FGE (“First Generation Ethiopians”) are severed from the discourse. Like most social change movements, the Ethiopian youth- underemployed, unemployed and idyllic have been sharing their grievances. Across the pond, we (the FGE), siphon through an incoherent, uncredible and at best shallow coverage of our counterparts struggle. Uncertain of which narrative to follow, eventually loosing interest.
FGE’s physical distance and linguistic shortcomings notwithstanding we are a resource for those on the ground. Born with the qualities of an agent of change; an indelible commitment to Ethiopia, material resources and social position to promote the cause. FGE and Ethiopian millennials make a formidable alliance. To activate the plowed earth, a clear line of communication is vital. Our priority should be an impartial source dedicated to unfurling the Ethiopian landscape.
Notable Ethiopian news media sites are obsolete. The departure from journalistic principles is explicitly flouted in Ethiomedia’s homepage. A specious declaration for a democratic Ethiopia to signal the abandonment of objective, accurate news. Skim through the likes of zena’s and the standards plummet. The echo-chamber to self-imposed exiles, is flushed with inflammatory language and unsubstantiated stories. This is generously assuming the FGE actually read the content – most would throw in the towel at first glance of the congested site profile.
The Western media coverage will not bridge the gap. Hamstringed to google search engine FGE will likely gaze over flagship networks such as CNN and BBC. With regards to the Oromo protests of 2016, coverage was framed on a sensationalized African tribe vs African tribe lineup- a model digestible to Western readers. Included were a heap of facts about Ethiopia. The Western coverage of Africa is confined to milestone moments; famines, protests, and “the first (insert vanity Development Project )in Africa!” headlines. Such reporting doesn’t build a base let alone foster a holistic knowledge of Ethiopia. For FGE to be engaged we need to know the day-to-day realities.