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The Dilemma of Website Editors

Dear Ethiopian observer readers and followers,

In my years of service as a webmaster and editor, I had always maintained impartiality on articles and opinions submitted to ethioobserver.net. The very keel of my belief was to encourage readers to read and respond. Media generally provides positive or negative analysis surrounding an issue but the challenge remains to the website owner’s identifying credible versus non credible sources. Webmasters have no tools to determine the accuracy of credibility of the post on the other hand viral word of mouth can be infectious and damaging. Any article that was submitted to be posted must be read and challenged its accuracy. Negative word of mouth communication it has more harmful to freedom of press than articles that are posted. Gandhi said “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.”

 It has come to my attention from close friends and ethioobserver.net readers TAND's statement on the uprising in Gondar titled “ጎንደር የህዝቡ ትግል ሲግል-የኢህኣዴግ ውድቀት ሲቀላጠፍ has generated strong descending views. Even though I do appreciate your candied opinion, I want to assure you that Ethioobserver’ s Achilles’ heel is its reputation of to be trustworthy, adhering to freedom of press and speech and being honest and open with the public. Ethioobserver continues to navigate a rocky road towards securing the interest of every concerned citizen of Ethiopia who are considered on many issues to have their say based on the guidelines. We unify through diversification. Let’s speak unity and harmony, minimize the differences in our backgrounds, while maximizing the common grounds. Our diversity of ideas should be an advantage and allows us to big.  Genuine participation on the cyber world does not unfold without at least initial support or oppose. 

Too often there remains a tragic gap between what readers are willing to read and tolerate other views and respond decisively to the writer.  The features of democracy are freedom, dissent, tolerance, justice, and fairness. These features are both moral and political. In moral terms, they function as lodestars of action. They provide us with value frames and standards of appropriate conduct when we share ideas with other persons. Too often after they read the article they start to blame the service provider. In a democratic society political tolerance and different views is a process that leads to enrich the reader and broaden the scope to wider arrays of possibilities.

 With the enormous diversity of social contexts as our Ethiopia is where different ideas and political stands takes place one might imagine it would be extremely difficult to identify a single rule of thumb that satisfy everyone. Ethiopians are becoming increasingly polarized right and left, with the great body of the people in the middle confused while few having mastered deceit. It is necessary to rectify the attitude that exists between readers that cross political divisions while, fundamentally, ensuring success and genuine social justice. We are all learning the process of democracy and freedom of press through trial and error. The remedy to heal our community will take several generations and skillful approach. We have to be careful not to mislead and sideline so many well-intentioned patriotic Ethiopians.

I cannot afford to squash freedom of press as it has demonstrated time and again on many of websites instead of entertain different ideas only to be posted their likes. It is impossible with such mindset to reconcile in earnest which requires personal interest comes first, the interest of the Ethiopian people second, ethnic bashing third, and the country for democratization can wait. Ethioobserver.net was created to serve the Ethiopian people, I am not interested to exhort editorial on individual writers who abide by the guidelines of DISCLAIMER and Notice.

Where there is an opportunity for tolerance and respond to other views that we disagree, escalation of distrust remains in our DNA feeding to the demise of political divisions. Many people are trapped by their past experiences and have difficulty with change. We are systematically robbing any rights that a democracy provides. There is no comparable absurdity than muzzling ideas that we disagree with.  The time is overdue for the rise of new mindset that pursues tolerance with vigor, seeks social justice and equality.

We promote ethics by encouraging honest interaction ensure a civil and professional atmosphere for all participants. Let us all move forward together to create an atmosphere that would promote, respect and tolerance irrespective of our political inclinations and national origins.


Ethiopian Observer editor


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions of the authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect ethioobserver position. ethioobserver  does not exercise any editorial control over the information therein. ethioobserver cannot accept any responsibility or liability for any actions taken (or not taken) as a result of reading the material displayed.