Anyone who reads this post please tell me what has interviewing white foreigners got to do with building “brand new image” of Ethiopia. What is so pleasant about asking a certain white dude on primarily Ethiopian festivity? If you have noticed some of the questions from ETV “journalists” goes like “Is this your first time to be in Ethiopia?” “What did you observe?” “What difference did you see if this is your second time in Ethiopia?” Year in year out same questions with several white interviewees. By the way, I have nothing against white interviewees.
OK, we are distinct country in our traditions, cultures and history but every country is different on their own. And I know, media houses like ETV may have interview with whomever they want, but come now, after all it was “Timket” and many of Addis dwellers dress up to symbolize their cultural heritages and pledged their allegiance to– the Red, Yellow & Green flag of Ethiopia and surely they must at least have a chance to reflect their passion on their holiday on the national television not tourists.
I believe the essence of presenting white peoples interview on the national television on the occasions like “Timket” is an exhibit of admiration of what is foreign. For me it is an exertion of journalists who want to identify themselves with something that is regarded as “better testimony for good image of Ethiopia”. Here the biggest challenge comes to the picture: What is better? Better than what? “Who can be the witness for our own holiday other than ourselves” These journalists give a lame reason of building brand new image of Ethiopia for interviewing white people. I am boldly labeling this as an attempt to adopt confused methods of image building and confusing foreign identities and cannot relate to any of public relation activities that would help to build a brand new image of Ethiopia. The journey for brand new image of Ethiopia is a long trip that will have to take many factors.
I have observed that there is a movement (though it looks artificial) towards appreciating what is local, what is ethnic and what is indigenous, and this is observed on a public occasions like “Timket”. ETV should take the advantage of this movement to capitalize on its quest for brand new image of Ethiopia.
I do not think brand new image of Ethiopia will be built by something trivial — such as asking opinions of white foreigners about “friendly people of Ethiopia”, or “the good weather of Ethiopia” or interviewing foreigners about ethnic, indigenous or religious celebrations such as “Meskel” or “Timket”. For me these acts are indications of messed up identities and adoration of white witnesses. What do you think?