Ethiopia: Educating a Dictator

Voice of America is the Voice of the Voiceless

The Voice of America’s (VOA) Journalist Standards & Practices (document 11-023 and 11-024), under the section captioned “WHAT DO VOA’S AUDIENCES HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPECT? Audiences ‘ Bill of Journalism Rights” provides that VOA’s audiences have the:

right to expect that journalists will monitor power and give voice to the voiceless. The press should use its watchdog power to uncover things that are important and new and that change community thinking… The press should monitor all the key centers of power in the community-including but not limited to government. 

Last week, a visiting delegation of the VOA Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) in Ethiopia was served an  ultimatum by dictator Meles Zenawi: If the VOA wants the electronic jamming of its broadcasts to Ethiopia stopped, it must silence and banish from its microphones the voices of specific individuals in the Ethiopian  Diaspora and some within Ethiopia. The delegation told Zenawi that the VOA is voice of the voiceless, not the silencer of the  already voiceless.

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