African media chiefs rap Ethiopia for crushing press
- Africa's media, business and political leaders met this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- Given Ethiopia's status as Sub-Saharan Africa's second worst of jailer of journalists and premier censor of the internet, press freedom-or lack thereof-in the host country sparked intense debates online.
- The African media Leaders Forum is billed as Africa's largest gathering of media chiefs and news industry stakeholders.
- The decision of the panafrican media development group African Media Initiative to hold the Forum in Addis Ababa originally drew intense criticism from the beleaguered independent Ethiopian media community.
- AMI defended its decision by arguing that "constructive engagement" with the government was the only way.
- Just days before conference, Ethiopian police'sdetention of two journalistsseemed to lend weight to critics' view that the venue was inappropriate for a media gathering.
- The international attention may have saved the journalists from spending two more weeks in custody - the standard period of itime that police and prosecutors typically request to pursue investigations
- Forum delegates also contended with the peculiarities of Ethiopia's censorship of the Internet
Did you find this story interesting? Be the first to like or comment.