News / Africa

Ethiopian Diaspora Media Compete Over Message

Nunu Wako is one of several Ethiopian media hosts based in Silver Spring, Maryland. (VOA/Nico Colombant)Nunu Wako is one of several Ethiopian media hosts based in Silver Spring, Maryland. (VOA/Nico Colombant)
x
Nunu Wako is one of several Ethiopian media hosts based in Silver Spring, Maryland. (VOA/Nico Colombant)
Nunu Wako is one of several Ethiopian media hosts based in Silver Spring, Maryland. (VOA/Nico Colombant)
Nico Colombant
SILVER SPRING, Maryland - As African media ventures have grown quickly in recent years, members of the diaspora in the United States are contributing to the surge of production. Within one of these communities, there is fierce competition over the messages that are being broadcast.  

At a recent anti-Ethiopian government rally in the city of Thurmont, Maryland, many of the journalists and citizen journalists recording material were from the Ethiopian diaspora.

Photos and videos of the protest were quickly posted on Ethiopian diaspora websites.

Another part of Maryland, Silver Spring, has, for years, been the base for Discovery Communications, which bills itself as the world’s top non-fiction media company.

More recently, this Washington suburb has become the hub of competing Ethiopian diaspora media.

Ethiopian Diaspora Media Compete Over Messagei
|| 0:00:00
X
Nico Colombant
May 26, 2012 7:18 PM
As African media ventures have grown quickly in recent years, members of the diaspora in the United States are contributing to the surge of production. Within one of these communities, there is fierce competition over the messages that are being broadcast. VOA’s Nico Colombant reports.

Ethiopian-born, American-raised Nunu Wako is preparing to tape an interview for her lifestyle show called "The Nunu Wako Show". It airs on the EBS television network.
Many of her shows focus on success stories in the diaspora.

“Our focus is Ethiopians and Africans," Wako explains. "We want to tell the story, the journey that we take when we are not in Ethiopia and how we do everything that might not be doable, but make the impossible possible."

She adds that her program, like others on EBS, stays away from politics which deeply divide her community. Some members are strong supporters of two-decade ruler Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, while others call him a dictator who suppresses freedoms. Very few Ethiopian immigrants have an impartial view.

From a nearby studio in Silver Spring, Abebe Belew hosts his weekly Addis Dimts radio show.  He says he has no choice but to discuss politics.

“I speak about all the issues, but most of the time, the serious problem is Ethiopian politics," Belew notes.  "If you have been to Ethiopia, you can see we have a very young generation, the majority of them, and the atmosphere, the global atmosphere for change is very suitable.  But because of the Meles dictator government, the Ethiopians cannot do anything.”

Belew said that he would be thrown in jail if he did his radio show in Ethiopia. His show costs $75,000 per year with much of the money coming from online donations.

“It is clear for Ethiopians. All you have to do is speak the truth and tell it as it is. So that is how my style is,” Belew adds.

Opponents of the Ethiopian government interviewed at the Thurmont protest said they loved the Addis Dimts show, while they said shows like those broadcast on EBS appeal to supporters of Prime Minister Meles.

But they said it is nice to be able to choose from more and more African media, including those being made in the diaspora, where freedom of speech and media go much further than they do at home.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Offended from: Everywhere
May 29, 2012 11:17 AM
This report did not reveal a whole a lot. It did not state the fact that most of the Ethiopian diaspora are victims of the regime being propped up by the State Department, paid billions of dollars annually. It did not also reveal Ethiopia is not one language country, but diverse, and most importantly it did not reveal the genocide going on in Ogaden (against ethnic somalis). It also omitted the corruption Ethiopia is gripped with, few high rank and file are completely controlling the economic activities of the country. The aid money arriving in Ethiopia also goes right back out to foreign offshare bank accounts in the names of the TPLF CC and their families. If you try to give a crack on African politics please make it fair and give the main indicators of that specific country's regime.


by: Westside from: California
May 27, 2012 6:01 AM
Is VOA ever going to give voice to many Diaspora Ethiopians who are successful business owners, accountants, doctors and lawyers who don't live or breathe Ethiopian politics? We are Americans, building America, yet your daily reports recently dwell on nothing but immigrant politics.

Please also broaden your focus, there are tens-of-thousands of us living outside Washington DC, it's the "Voice of America," after all.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid