Saturday, November 13, 2010

A response to Urjii.Info editor’s response

Dear Urjii.info editor,

I want to thank you for taking the time to reply (“Read Here”) to my request. However, I will say that I am disappointed.

As a news paper, on-line or otherwise, you become neutral and independent by providing all ideas equal opportunity to be aired – NOT by editing someone else’s opinion or comment to make it sound “neutral”. If that is what you believe to be Neutrality, you have not learned the first thing about neutrality and independence in publication.

First, your attempt at using “put[ting] words into the mouth of others”— especially when those words are written down — is a feeble defense at best. In whose mouth any way? In the writer’s or in the reader’s mouth? This was not an interview you conducted with the writer for crying out loud! How does the issue of “put[ting] words into the mouth of others” arise in this case?

In any case, if you “cannot put words into the mouth of others” what gives you the right to take “The Case for a Sovereign & Independent Oromia” out of the writer’s mouth and put “Oromia: Would Sovereignty be the only Way Out?” in his mouth?

May I ask that you practice what you preach and remove the words you put in the writer’s mouth?

Secondly, as anyone who has taken introductory journalism course would tell you, neutrality CAN arise in this case for ONLY one purpose – for the purpose of hiding behind it. They would also tell you that there is ONE important reason why Neutrality CANNOT serve as a defense in this case. That is because the article is not a news report, nor is it your editorial article, but an article expressing the opinion of someone unaffiliated with Urjii online. That, I believe, is why you actually posted it in the “Opinions/Comments” section of your web site. For your information, the appropriate issue that can arise in this case is Attribution, not Neutrality. In other words, all you had to do was identify the source and attach a disclaimer.

I urge you to go back and read your own editorial policy which you posted on your web site and let your readers, and mine, know which of your policies justfied your action in this case. In fact, by changing the title of the said article you violated your own rules, again. You distorted the tone of the piece.

Here is a 101 in journalism for you: As a news paper, on-line or otherwise, you become neutral and independent by providing all ideas equal opportunity to be aired – NOT by editing someone else’s opinion or comment to make it sound “neutral”. If that is what you believe to be Neutrality, you have not learned the first thing about neutrality and independence in publication.

You have violated your own rule of not “put[ting] words into the mouth of others”. You have disregarded the above standards of journalism. By so doing, you have put your credibility as a serious newspaper on the line. I urge you to do the right thing and protect your most important asset – your credibility.

In your response to my open letter, you also talked about Urjii’s position on Sovereignty & Independence of Oromia. This was uncalled for but appreciated. Besides recognizing and accepting the Oromo people’s right to determine their fate, Urjii has NO STAND or postion on whether the Oromo should work to realize a Sovereign & Independent Oromia or to democratize the dying Ethiopian empire. This is no surprise to me because even political organizations like that of Obbo Dawud Ibsaa (A.K.A Shanee) have that same stand on this issue. To share that view with Shanee is Urjii’s right and Oromo Affairs respects it.

However, unlike Urjii and Shanee, Oromo Affairs is NOT neutral when it comes to Sovereignty & Independence Oromia. Besides recognizing the Oromo people’s right to determine their fate, Oromo Affairs advocates for a Sovereign & Independent Oromia.

Urjii is expected to respect Oromo Affairs’ position on this issue and refrain from doctoring articles it publishes in advocacy of its views.

Urjii editor(s) are once again urged to do the right thing and restore the title of the article to “The Case for a Sovereign & Independent Oromia”.

Thanks.

Argan Beekan
Oromo Affairs Blogger


Have your say!
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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Urjii = Shanee. all know this already no doiby.

Anonymous said...

Yaaboo ati dhakaatti dubbatta. Yoo Daawud ja'e malee jijjiirraan ati gaafattu bikka hin gayu tana beeki. Kanaaf yaroo balleessuu dhiisii Dawudiif xalaayaa banaa ergi.

Nagayaan.

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Anonymous said...

Urjii, Urjii, Urjii,

A cliché "put words in someone's mouth" will take nowhere. What about the word you used when you changed the title? Is it not putting words in someone's mouth?

Second, you treat people as needing your doctoring. This is typical Abyssinian mentality. We can choose. If you trust the Oromo people with major decision as the question of independence in a referendum, how come you do not trust then on a title of an article? A load of rubbish you talk. You are Shanee, poor one for that.

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