Govt Hits back at UK’s Telegraph over Misreporting

ADDIS ABABA – The government of Ethiopia has hit out at UK’s Telegraph it accused of ‘completely twisting of the facts for agenda-based reporting’ which involves inaccurately translated speech of the Prime Minister of the East Africa nation.

“Telegraph continued its streak of misinforming its readers regarding events in Ethiopia,” said the government in a letter addressed to the media entitled ‘Lethal Journalism of the Telegraph exposed’ and posted on the official Facebook page of Ethiopian foreign Minister today.

In the article titled “Ethiopian PM threatens to stop food aid entering the country” posted on Oct 18, the letter says Telegraph’s Will Brown blatantly misquoted Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The aim is “to bolster a preordained narrative in which Ethiopia must be vilified. At the same time, insurgents of the TPLF are spared criticism, if not outright praised”, it adds.

Delivered in Amharic, Prime Minister Abiy expressed his desire to see “Ethiopia become food self-sufficient and less dependent on food aid coming from abroad”, a noble goal widely shared among the Ethiopian public.

Telegraph’s report, however, translated the statement as “if we make sure that this thing called wheat [food aid] does not enter Ethiopia, 70 percent of Ethiopia’s problems will be solved”.

The letter advised the national British daily broadsheet newspaper to “reassess its assumptions of what the Prime Minister said or did not say.”

“If translating Amharic into English is particularly challenging, they should seek help before becoming a disservice to their readers, who deserve to know that facts,” it says.

The article is viewed by some as part of serious misinformation push by western media against the Abiy’s Administration since the start of the conflict in north Ethiopia almost a year ago.

This one, however, goes beyond taking things out of context or misinterpreting the Prime Minister’s words, reads the letter.

“This is an unscrupulous disregard for what was said and a complete twisting of the facts for agenda-based reporting,” it says. “For the sake of journalism and factual reporting, the Telegraph should reevaluate this report for its merit and ask if it meets journalistic standards.”

[Featured Image: FBC]