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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Anthony Mitchell, courageous journalist

Greg Swift, deputy news editor of the Express, said this about Anthony Mitchell, the British journalist who is thought to have died after the Kenya Airways plane he was on board crashed yesterday:

"He is a really old-fashioned journalist who can pin down a story with intelligence and determination."

There is a classic debate in journalism classes about whether a journalist could care about the object or sometimes the subject of his/her report and be objective enough. I think "objectivity of result" as we know it in traditional journalism is a lexicon for journalistic passivity: try to stand so far from the object or the subject of your report and consider all assertions and viewpoints as equal. So when the Ethiopian government killed scores of people during demonstrations, the concern for these traditional journalists wasn't where, in the context of the shootings, the main responsibility lied. Instead, they focused on how many lines they would give to Bereket Simon, then Information Minister, and how many to the victim families and eye witnesses. So the story they wrote went like this: "Forty six people died in Ethiopia election demonstrations which officials said was intended to overthrow the government." This narrative went on and on.

Anthony Mitchell was, in that sense, quite unorthodox. He cared about the object and the subject of his story without being sloppily acting like a post-modernist who would claim that "truth is just a social construct" and reject objectivity in total. Instead, he applied rigorous objectivity of method, objective in his gathering and interpreting of information; but went to where the facts lead him. If the facts lead that the Ethiopian government had massacred people, he would bluntly make it a headline. As a non-consequentialists, he would tell "the truth and let the chips fall". But he was, in a different way, consequentialist as he had utter belief in truth as a better guide for better consequences.

For me, he was the best foreign journalist to be stationed in Ethiopia for the last decade. Apart from his journalistic philosophy, he would also be remembered as incredibly courageous correspondent. I don't think AP reports about Ethiopia would have been the same, had he not been directly and indirectly responsible for those stories - In Ethiopia as a reporter and in Kenya, as an editor.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

The world in general and Ethiopia in particular, lost in the death of Anthony Mitchell. May God rest his soul in peace.

Anonymous said...

Ethio-Zagol: your recent writings are not attractive to most of your readers as stories you are writing about are just nonsense; the blog changed very much in its work and integrity after it became a forum that a bunch of blogers write on; You are losing your reputation; Take swift action to correct it; otherwise you may end up in being aiga forum soon

Anonymous said...

The Annon @7:33am said, "did he decide CUD was innocent before proven so?"

As far as i know in the eyes of the law everybody is INNOCENT UNTIL Proven Guilty!

What you have said is exactly what Woyane is doing. They haven't proven those jailed leaders are guilty but the continued to treat them and detain them as they were guilty.

Let me ask you this, do you hold some one with out proving their crime and then try to investigate their innocence? Please, take a minute and think about it.

Anonymous said...

Gebru from Awassa:

The anonymous above (7:33 AM) said
.... party dictated by the dictator Hailu shawel... what a moron. Are you really serious or you are joking? Engineer Hailu is Ethiopia`s true son unlike your banda who could not even finish his second year at AAU. Do you know his (Meles) record at AAY during those almost two years in school? I guess not. How about 2 B`s 1C and 3Ds. That was his last term final before he left for break and not to return to school. He knows where he stands so he chose to go to the other school, which is how to kill people and eat them while those leaders in Kality honorably graduate from AAUI as well as foreign. Know the facts before you open your mouth. Got it?

patriotic ethiopian said...

Antony Mitchell, was a man of honor, dignity, integrity, and principle. He never jumped on the band wagon to assist TPLF in their bid to kill Ethiopians while other yellow-journalists said who cares we have to care about our income. Antony Mitchell refused to join Patrik Gilsk and the notorious Paul Heinz to benefit TPLF. He stood firm, and said NO! to all kinds of bribing. That resulted in the declaration of persona non-grata, and eventually he was able to escape from TPLF's hand. Many say he would have been murdered by TPLF security appratus had he stayed in Ethiopia.

My condolence to Antony Mitchell's family and friends, rest in peace.

PATRIOTIC ETHIOPIAN

Anonymous said...

What is the difference between compromising a conviction and being a mole? we know one thing (A.F.D) and its alliances are our only hope for ethiopia.The type of armed struggle conducted by (O.N.L.F) to un sit the most flagrant human right offender regime is the only stratege workable for the future. For this reason we eurge all armed wings to work in co-operation to give birth to a national command.This we belive will enable all the armed movements to launch a co-ordinated attack on many of the enemy posts:that will culminate in the launch of national uprising.We also belive establishing closer relationship with shabia based on common interest ;will help remove any suspecion and doubt that may be existing:that will help remove any posible hinderances that may be present.We expect the type of O.N.L.F armed struggle to be the the norm of the future-not that we advocate the killings of innocent people;what happend last week was what is commonly reffered in milatary lingo as colateral damage:some times you just can not clean hit your target.We expect the O.N.L.F in the future it will be sensitive to this killings of civilians.One thing to consider ,however,is that the T.P.L.F regime is the # 1 murderer at this time .We mean they shoot recklesy innocent civilans.Consider the shootings in Addis:thet mow 193 citizens and aregued at first by claiming the number to be only 46.What of the reaction of the government; nerxt,PM. Melese grabe the mike and announced this to Ethiopian publick.Is it sorry this happen?no!then what?this! "Manim ayadinachhum! feregi ayadinachhum abeshy ayadinachhum!" Do they aver learn?Then,T.P.L.F start to mow Somalian civilians an estimated 1000.Why is T.P.L.F immune to kill, and when some of its members are hit it raises its voice?because she is master of deceit:even able to find sympathy among some oposition blogers.For this reason we encourage all opposition to join hand in hand and start to route the main unti peace party:TRIBALIST ENTITY T.P.L.F.We believe when Elias Kifle commented on this event he was simply expressing his opinion that from this point on this types of attack will be the wave of the future:this to us is simply objective reporting.If you doubt this watch tjhis willcome in greater frequency more than ever.We appreciate what Elias is doing for Ethiopia:T.P.L.F hates people who advocate armed struggle ;it equally loves those who say peace peacfull struggle.

Anonymous said...

Et_Zegol

Would you have said everything you said, if Mr. Mitchell reported something you were against? Indeed he was a journalist, but he added another hat to himself when he decided to become Activist for CUD. In fact his story about Somalia was intended to make EPRDF look bad. But as another person said, NO ONE DESERVE TO DIE. May GOD rest his soul!

Anonymous said...

Ethiopia lost a friend in Anthony Mitchell - He was a man of superb caliber who did his job with courage and integrity. He didn't fall for WOYANNE/TPLF deceit and cruelity. He did his journalistic role by exposing the tyrant and the con man of Ethiopia (Meles Zenawi)to the world. His short life is a testimony to a life well lived.

Needless to say that the comments being made by TIGRIAN WOYANNE THUGS on the legacy of Anthony is self evident that the degree of cruelity has no boundary or limit -sooner or later they will pay for this.

WE ETHIOPIANS WILL FOREVER TREASURE THE LEGACY OF ANTHONY MICHELL - with the enevitable demise of the woyanne I CAN NOT WAIT TO BUILD A SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM OF THE ADDIS ABABA UNIVERSITY NAMED AFTER THIS GALLANT JOURNALIST - ANTHONY MAY GOD REST YOUR SOUL IN PEACE!!!

Anonymous said...

well I am still not giving up but if the news become real then I will not be surprise. As it happens time and time again, good, honest and caring people do not last long on this planet. He was a remakable human being. May God be with him and his family

Anonymous said...

He was one of the best friend of the oppressed majority ethiopians. He stand up for the opressed and for the voicless with courage and inegrity which most the western media journalist's luck today. As we know these days, most of the western journalists have racist ajenda and consipred with dictator's such as Crime minister Meles government. So, Anthony was one of the rare journalists with courage, intergrity and great moral value that helped ethiopians on their worst days of this testing time. So, I believe he was a friend in need with truhness and high moral value. Let god bless his soul!

Anonymous said...

EZ,
Anthony Michell was a man of the truth. What a great journalist and a great person. My condolonces to his family.

Dear EZ, as you can see there are so many Woyannies in this forum who are out here to destroy the free flow of ideas & discussions. Please ban these killers and bandas. At least create a mechanism to see the comment of the writers before it finds its way on the forum. Imagine a group which just killed 200 innocent Ethiopians has no shame to accuse Hailu Shawel of wrong doing.

Anonymous said...

The shabia dude above who commented EZ ban government supporters. This is not dehai.org where any body who opposes tyrant Isaias is swiftly banned from the site.

EZ,

why do you allow annoymous commenters? Is it because during the brief period that registration was required few comments were made? I have news for you, annonymity means the same person posts multiple comments. The 15 comments above are not from 15 different persons. I am 110% sure. Get the regisration back on, and see how many comments you get.

Anonymous said...

The above anonym is a TPLF CADRE, who is upset decent people commenting on this discussion forum, this is not AIGAFORUM.COM where they block anti-TPLF comments. Go to where you belong, we need control of the site, let there be ID on this discussion so we can see the number of TPLF reduced by 100 percent. You are right we feel there is only one TPLF paid agent assigned for this discussion forum, it is you! Blood thirsty degenerate WOYANE!

We are mourning the death of a great Ethiopian friend. May he rest in peace and my condolence to his family.

Anonymous said...

EZ,
Unless you start screening your commentators, a lot of ppl are about to leave this blog. We do not need to waste our time sifting through woyane hate propaganda posted by one paid agent. You better organize your house in order or ppl start to wonder whose side you are on. You have been reliabvlie so far but don't let the woyane commentator (I know there is only one coming here multiple times) ruin your genuine reporting. My supportive comments were banned from here before, and I hope you post this one, and yet you keep leting hate propaganda flourish on your space. It is a shane.

Anonymous said...

To read what Weyane's mouth pieces write, shows how convoluted and absurd they are. They talk about the rule of law when they have never adhered to any rule, they are still following the rule of the jungle. They talk about rebellion forgetting that they are the ones with liberation behind their name and not CUD. They want to rule as a government but have not dropped their facade of a being a Front. It really is amazing how self righteous and narrow they are.

Their absurdity goes to the point where they seem to thrive on being disparaged by the majority. They make no sense and are a nuisances. What is amazing is they have no shame in parroting the same garbage day in day out. If you so want to express yourselves why don't you at least try to show some intelligence by presenting some semblance of reasoning. Yes your nightmare is Hailu Shewal because he is a true son of Ethiopia. Who believes in the integrity and strength of the people of Ethiopia who he respects. Not like you banda's who will sell the country for a buck and see yourself as less than, starting with your leader and all the buffoons surrounding him. Its your lack of respect for yourself that have you screaming bloody hell at each point, because you know the people have no respect for you as a government, You are liars, that want to rule through threats and bribery, always decrying the people that you so forcibly want to rule. It does not work that way!

The people of Ethiopia told you what they felt about you and your little dictator on May 15, 2005. It was a bitter pill you could not swallow so you went on a rampage and created mayhem. Any decent human being can only take so much and look the other way, and when he could not in good conscience look the other way anymore he exposed your leaders for what they are basic Mafioso, even as he exposed you he was gentle because he knew what you were capable off. Like all dictatorships you too shall blow into the chasm as the likes of you have done in the past- you have devote to much energy into controlling the nation physically and psychologically and that will be your demise.

My deepest condolences to the Family Mrs Anthony Mitchell.

Anonymous said...

Too many of the comments are redundant. It means a few shabya and woyane cadres are writing too much junk.

Anonymous said...

LOOK AT TPLF FRIENDS ARE ALL MELTING AWAY FROM THIS ADMINISTRATION, DOES THAT MEAN TPLF IS WILL BE ABUNDONED IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS? IT LOOKS LIKE THAT IS THE CASE.

-------------------------//---------------------


Early departures clip Bush security team By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Top members of President Bush's national security team are leaving in one of the earliest waves of departures from a second-term administration — nearly two years before Bush's time ends.

As rancor in the nation rises over handling of the war in Iraq, at least 20 senior aides have either retired or resigned from important posts at the White House, Pentagon and State Department in the past six months.

Some have left for lucrative positions in the private sector. Some have gone to academic or charitable institutions. The latest was Deputy National Security Adviser J.D. Crouch, who spoke favorably of Bush's policies as he announced he was leaving last week.

Turnover is normal as an administration nears its end, but "this is a high number," said Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University and an expert on government.

"You would expect to see vacancies arise as things wind down, but it's about six months early for this kind of a mass exodus," he said.

One reason may be that Vice President Dick Cheney will not run to succeed Bush in 2008, setting the stage for wholesale changes at all levels of government no matter who wins the election. Also, several of the departures were not voluntary.

Some officials, however, speaking only privately, say some people may be leaving to avoid being associated with the increasingly unpopular Iraq conflict.

About six in 10 Americans say the United States made a mistake in going to war in Iraq and almost as many say they think it's a hopeless cause, according to recent AP-Ipsos polling. Less than a third support Bush's handling of the war.

At the White House, four top officials have stepped down, including Crouch; Meghan O'Sullivan, another deputy national security adviser who worked on Iraq; Tom Graham, the senior director for Russia, and Victor Cha, the point man for Asian affairs.

O'Sullivan's departure has set off a search for a "war czar" to oversee operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a job reportedly turned down by a number of senior or retired generals.

Graham's resignation comes as tensions with Russia rise over U.S. missile defense plans in Europe, and Cha leaves amid concerns over North Korea's failure to comply with deadlines to eliminate its nuclear weapons programs.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigned under fire in November and is not included in the list of 20.

His close associate and chief of intelligence Stephen Cambone followed him out the door as did Peter Rodman, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. Army Secretary Francis Harvey was fired over shoddy conditions at Walter Reed hospital.

Another Pentagon official, Richard Lawless, the senior policy coordinator for Asia, is expected to leave this summer.

The State Department has been hit hardest with at least five so-called "principals" — people in the top four tiers of the bureaucracy — stepping down.

Light said the diplomatic departures appeared to demonstrate a feeling that the administration is running out of time for foreign policy accomplishments despite Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's perseverance.

"They reflect a decline in the Bush foreign policy agenda," he said. "No matter how hard Condi Rice works, this administration's foreign policy has pretty much run its course."

Deputy State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the departures were not unusual and would not affect the agency's handling of relations with foreign governments.

"This is a normal part of life at the department," he said. "It's part of a cycle where people pursue other opportunities at times that are appropriate for them but we continue to be blessed with exceptional people in the building for our important diplomatic work."

A total of 12 senior officials have left the State Department in recent months, beginning with John Bolton, the hawkish former ambassador to the United Nations who, facing congressional opposition, resigned in December when his recess appointment expired.

His departure was followed that month by the retirement of John Miller, the department's ambassador at large for human trafficking, and the resignation of Rice's counselor, Philip Zelikow, who returned to academia.

In January, John Hillen, the assistant secretary of state for political and military affairs, resigned. In February, two senior officials quit: counterterrorism coordinator Henry Crumpton and protocol chief Donald Ensenat.

Robert Joseph, the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, resigned in March after complaining the administration was being soft on North Korea. The department's policy planning director, Stephen Krasner, also announced his departure that month.

April saw the departures of two senior officials, undersecretary of state for economic, business and agricultural affairs Josette Sheeran and assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor Barry Lowenkron.

Then just this month, Randall Tobias, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development who held a rank equivalent to deputy secretary of state, resigned after being linked to a Washington call girl scandal.

A few days later, Dina Habib Powell, the assistant secretary of state for education and cultural affairs who was also the administration's highest-ranking Arab-American official, announced she was leaving to take a job with the Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs.

Anonymous said...

A great man , Anthony Mitchell, will be deeply missed by true Ethiopians. Anthony's lively news and objective analysis of situations ,be it political or social , make him one of a kind. Such dedicated professionals come one in a million. Let his soul rest in peace. Many comforts to his family! Again, Anthony, we miss you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!