Reuters and Its Highly Biased Ethiopian Freelancer
By: Sammy G.
April 26, 2005

Tsegaye Tadesse's April 22, 2005 article on Reuters entitled: "Ethiopia says kills 32 Eritrea-trained raiders" is yet another irrefutable proof of Reuter's anti-Eritrea bias.   
What type of a self-respecting media source would choose such a clearly slanted subject line for a news topic? This topic was no mishap and was done with a malice intent.        

Tsegaye Tadesse has always behaved like an Ethiopian reporter with unfettered access to Reuter's media apparatus, instead of a Reuters freelancer of Ethiopian origin. And for all intents and purposes, he has also distinguished himself as the official mouse piece of ENA, Weyane's News Agency, for his copy-and-paste journalism.       

Just today, he flat-out reported verbatim Weyane's unsubstantiated account on the clashes between the Weyane army and ONLF fighters. He never bothered to include ONLF's response and, as usual, severely downplayed reactions from Eritrea. 
Tsegaye never fails to include his false characterization of the Ethiopia-Eritrea dispute in his reports. He tries to shove down our throat a mellowed version of Ethiopia's intransigent attitude towards peace proposals. In fact, he is extremely careful when writing anything that remotely portrays Ethiopia as the rejecting party. He'd always sugar-coat things as he did today saying: "Ethiopia has only accepted the ruling in principle."

It's amazing also how Tsegaye never fails to spring up just in time to conceal Weyane's real image. And his psychological warfare and playing damage-control on Weyane while maximizing his anti-Eritrea attacks is alarming, to say the least.    

For example, he knows well that, statistically, up to 60% of readers who visit news sites do not in fact read or finish the contents of news items. Thus, he always manages to condense the entire news into the subject line. That way, he guarantees that the gist of the story is well-absorbed even by today's "sound-byte" generation. Hence, when simply reading his outrageous and biased subject line (which Reuters didn't bother to edit) one can glean that:   
A) There was a clash between the Weyane army and the "raiders" They are "raiders" and not ONLF fighters. He'd not acknowledge that they are in fact freedom fighters from the Ogaden region. 

B) Ethiopia got "raided", not the other way around. This is despite the fact that Ethiopia has raided the Somali regions perhaps more than any other force did to any region in history.  

C) 32 were killed Of course, unlike the Um Hajer incident which never received due media attention, there was no shred of evidence to substantiate the claim. Even Tsegaye, the Weyane stooge himself, admits it by saying: "[Weyane official] Jemil told Reuters over the telephone from Jijjiga." He does even have the temerity to put in quotes when regurgitating Weyane-supplied numbers like that.     
D) The "raiders" trekked (originally from Eritrea) Again, he has not even a semblance of proof. This is just "Jemil" telling him so. But he's not going to care about facts or any of that journalistic decency or ethics nonsense. After all, this is a matter of doing his utmost part in "protecting Ethiopia's image", not about fairness in journalism. As long as it advances his mission of a "united Ethiopia"; and as long as he can slip such biased views past Reuters editors (with a wink and nod, of course), he'll continue to propagate his agenda of psycho-ops/warfare. 

To add insult to injury, he included that Eritrea "sent those raiders" to "raise havoc to Ethiopia's May elections." Wow! Isn't that like saying USA sent Labor Union agents to disrupt Sweatshops in Mexico? No consideration for logic and sensibility, just parroting.

And can you imagine Reuters accepting Ed Harris' report about the four dead Weyane soldiers in Um Hajer? After all, it was worthwhile news that was later substantiated albeit conveniently brushed off by Western media. Nope, no chance for real news.        

Of course, no one is really surprised by Tsegaye's unrestricted access to Reuters as he spews his anti-Eritrea venom. That is the plan. It is part of a well-orchestrated campaign by Western media and spearheaded by the BBC. It's anchored on a misguided belief that any news that might remotely agitate Melles' precarious standing must be controlled or curbed at all costs.  

But this is as flawed a concept as the concept of a united Ethiopia itself.