A Note to Ethiopian Writers – By Teodros Kiros (Ph.D)

October 17th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Readers such as me are enormously grateful to the Ethiopian writers who are pouring good ink on all the major websites. (more…)

Readers such as me are enormously grateful to the Ethiopian writers who are pouring good ink on all the major websites. A blend of scholarly essays, creative renuminations, historical notes and polemical articles aiming at the ruling clique rocking the boat in contemporary Ethiopia, are flooding the websites. The efforts are commendable.

These multi colored writings are a sheer of delight. I wrap myself with them.

As enjoyable as they are, they are propelled by the same wind of venom, polemics, redundancy and hate of the existing regime. I understand the justification for the hate, but I do not understand the misuse of talent on a moribund regime, that is on its way out.

Readers deserve to read articles that educate the public on matters of life and death of the average Ethiopian. Editors of websites should not specialize in singling out very able writers, who insist on attacking the regime every singly week, when the precious time of the reader should be spent more on writing short, sharp and readable articles on the Ethiopian crisis that goes beyond the politics of the current leadership, and focus on famine, poverty, freedom, social movements and much more, reflecting the depth of the Ethiopian crisis and the hidden pains of the alienated Ethiopian public.

Articles addressing these themes should be short, objective, educational and non-academic. They ought to be written in a journalistic style that economizes words and which respect the reader. Longer academic pieces ought to have a different venue; and if and when possible, they should be translated into Amharic by able writers, if the original pieces are written in English.

We should all write for the Ethiopian public and not merely for the academic readership.

I particularly modestly advise Editors not to use their websites as a forum in which writers are published only if the pieces are infused with the prejudices of the Editor. This is bad journalism and a disservice to the reading public. The Editor has the right to use his powers to publish his own columns. That is the Editors prerogative.

Beyond that, the Editor must choose articles based on the quality of the writing, the sincerity of the writer, and the educational value of the arguments.

I write these words with an absolute sincerity and respect of our prolific writers.

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