Free Press In Exile – Jim Bettinger (Stanford University)

May 22nd, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Abebe Gellaw, the 2008-09 Yahoo! International Fellow at Stanford this year, is an example of how one person with a great idea can make a difference. (more…)

Abebe Gellaw, the 2008-09 Yahoo! International Fellow at Stanford this year, is an example of how one person with a great idea can make a difference.

Abebe is an Ethiopian journalist, but the regime in his home country is too repressive to allow true journalism, so he is in exile. He had been in London for years before coming to the U.S. as the Yahoo! International Journalism Fellow at Stanford.

The Yahoo! fellowship was specifically established for people like Abebe, journalists from countries where there are strong challenges to a free press. Yahoo! and the Knight Fellowships agreed that supporting journalists who were directly or indirectly under attack should be at the top of the to-do list, and so we created the Yahoo! Fellowship in 2006, with a generous gift from Yahoo!.

Abebe is the third Yahoo! Fellow, following Imtiaz Ali, from Pakistan, and Violet Gonda, of Zimbabwe. Like Abebe, Violet was in exile, too. Abebe’s great idea is Addis Voice, a London-based website devoted to independent news about Ethiopia. It has become a trusted source of news and commentary for the Ethiopian diaspora. Here’s an interview with Abebe:

Abebe’s fellowship is ending, and we are ready to welcome Nadia Trinidad of the Philippines, one of the deadliest countries for journalists in the world. Nadia is a senior correspondent for ABS-CBN Brooadcasting Company in Manila. She will study the psychological and sociological aspects of corruption in the media. She will arrive in August.

Journalists are under attack around the world, and organizations like the Committee To Protect Journalists make sure that those attacks are brought to light. It makes me feel proud that the Knight Fellowships and Yahoo! have teamed up to provide a fellowship at Stanford every year for someone who is bearing the brunt of those attacks.

Out of the Country, But Not Out of the Loop

Jim Bettinger
Director, John S. Knight Fellowship for Professional Journalists
Stanford University

  1. Ali
    | #1

    Well done Abebe! We have been irrepressible by people like you. Bertu!

  2. qasim akinreti
    | #2

    extremely happy to read tis piece and listen to the interview .Qiute revealing .Looking forward to win the fellowship award too.
    qasim akinreti
    Principla News Editor

  3. dinka
    | #3

    Thank you Mr.Abebe and thank God for such a passionate young person like you to be alive to tell the sad story our people are living everyday.Big big thanks to Yahoo for allowing the incognito voices telling their stories.Keep it up!!!!

  4. Wolleyewu
    | #4

    Great job Abe. The fellowship you have been attending right now will broaden your political out look about Ethiopian. I am 100% sure that you will remain determined to fight the ‘Tigray bandits’ who are mercellesly exploiting, torturing and massacering our sisters, brothers and parents in Ethiopia for the last two decades.

    Good bless you Abe

  5. Mekdi
    | #5

    Every one should do like Abebe is doing for his country.

    God bless Abebe Gelaw.

  6. ethiopian
    | #6

    great job my country fellow we need more of you and we do have a lot of Ethiopian proffesionals scatered around the work ….imagine if we were living in our country using our brain for our country WOW my dream always

  7. TM
    | #7

    Here is what I got from shabit.com today. This is taken from an interview by the lion of Nakfa with a Nigerian journalist. Read.

    Meless has never taken arms let alone lead war.Interesting.

    Asked to comment on a question that there are parties which claim that “the existing situation between Eritrea and Ethiopia has been aggravated due to personal problems between President Isaias and Premier Meles since the days of the armed struggle,” the President indicated that in the days of the armed struggle he did not even know as an individual the person presently in power in Addis Ababa through the joint sacrifice of both the Eritrean and Ethiopian peoples, nor did he see him in the battlefield. “If you had participated together in the battlefield, you become closer to each other; but this person has never taken up arms, let alone lead war,” President Isaias stated.

  8. kalewold
    | #8

    Well done mate in London every one who knows you extremeley proud of you.

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