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

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