#VOAStopBias – Holding VOA Amharic Accountable

TODAY Tuesday June 3, join us for a 2-hour Twitter campaign. Starts at 1pm DC time, 6pm London, and 8pm Oromia/ETH (2:00 local time). #VOAStopBias

VOA Amharic has become a public relations machine for the Abiy Administration. Journalists working for the US gov’t shouldn’t be allowed to use their position to serve as mouthpieces of an authoritarian regime engaged in ethnic cleansing. @USAGMgov @HouseForeignGOP #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet VOA Amharic and leaders of the VOA Africa Program have become rabidly pro-Ethiopia gov’t, abandoning their journalistic mission of providing balanced news to Ethiopians of all political and ideological persuasion. @VOADirector @HouseForeign #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet @VOAAmharic 's reporting has been consistent with that of ESAT TV, an Ethiopian opposition media now supporting the gov’t & advocates for Amhara supremacy in Ethiopia. And is hostile to marginalized groups. @insidevoa @RepMcCaul #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet VOA has been acting as a naked propaganda network for the govt & the right-wing in 🇪🇹 which wants to reimpose Amhara hegemony Journalists working for Tigrigna and Oromo services say guests critical of the 🇪🇹 govt & its conduct were banned @bbgwatch @RepGregoryMeeks… Click To Tweet VOA served as a mouthpiece of the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments during the Tigray war, covering their version of events heavily and favourably. There was no objectivity, balance or accuracy in their reporting of the war. @voanews @SenateForeign #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet A recent report by @theintercept reveals how Ethnic factions in VOA’s Amharic language program “used the news agency to push partisan agendas” favoring the Amhara camp. @usagm_watch @SFRCdems #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet Since I was hired at VOA about 18 months ago, I’ve seen many incidents that caused me great concern … But VOA’s continued tolerance of a wartime propaganda effort is too much. I cannot in good conscience remain associated with this organization.” Patinkin #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet Since the war in Tigray began, VOA presented distorted & appalling pro-government accounts & talking points to its nearly 12 million weekly listeners, in blatant disregard to the truth and journalistic mandate. @USAGMgov @HouseForeignGOP #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet One of the most blatant & disgraceful manifestations of VOA’s bias during the early days of the Tigray war was their use of government talking lines, describing the war as ‘law enforcement operation’ and referring to TPLF as a ‘junta’. @VOADirector @HouseForeign #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet VOA’s coverage of atrocities committed in Tigray against civilians is shocking. The Agency deliberately and wickedly ignored credible accusations of war crime and crimes against humanity while parroting gov’t lines. @insidevoa @RepMcCaul #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet VOA Amharic downplayed atrocities perpetrated in Tigray. E.g it took more than a month to publish just 1 article on the well publicized Axum massacre after VOA Tigrigna did a story. @amnesty @hrw and @CNNAfrica have confirmed this massacre @bbgwatch @RepGregoryMeeks #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet It is unconscionable for an agency of the US gov’t to cover-up mass atrocity crimes in which the State Department found evidence of ethnic cleansing and imposed sanctions against the government. @voanews @SenateForeign #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet The problems at the VOA are systemic and CEO Kelu Chao must review VOA Horn of Africa’s structure, hiring practices, & promotions standards, and how they influence editorial decisions. @usagm_watch @SFRCdems #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet The VOA Amharic program is not an independent media. It is not committed to VOA’s mandate of serving as a “reliable and authoritative source of news”. It is especially biased towards Oromo and Tigrayan stories. It must change. @SenatorMenendez @SenatorRisch #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet VOA Amharic has a long history of silencing the stories of the Oromo and marginalized ppl of 🇪🇹 whose interests do not necessarily align with those of Amhara interests. VOA Amharic works to promote the political interests of Amhara political orgs @USAGMgov @voanews #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet #VOAStopBias – HoldingVOA Amharic systematically and selectively highlights stories to amplify the narratives of the govt & its Amhara supporters. The Oromo and Tigrinya services face constant pressure to follow the VOA Amharic line, contrary to VOA’s mandate. @VOADirector… Click To Tweet VOA was intended to be America’s voice to the rest of the world. The VOA Horn of Africa program is dishonoring this noble mandate through biased reporting. It has been complicit in atrocities across Oromia and Tigray by parroting gov’t talking points. @SenateForeign #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet VOA is funded by America’s taxpayers. It was supposed to provide reliable information to societies deprived of one by their own gov’t. VOA Horn of Africa is using a US gov’t funded agency to promote propaganda by an authoritarian regime. @bbgwatch @RepGregoryMeeks #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet The problems with @VOAAmharic are well-documented and available for the leadership to review. The agency must take immediate steps to restore trust to the VOA and provide reliable news. @voanews @SenateForeign #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet It is dazzling to watch @StateDept doing nothing while @VOAAmharic is cheering a war criminal through continuous war drum and propaganda. @usagm_watch @SFRCdems #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet We have to ask If @VOAAmharic is the Voice of America or the Voice of Abiy. @StateDept @SenatorMenendez @SenatorRisch #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet . @VOAAmharic is continuously airing pro-government propaganda while ignoring atrocities blamed on pro-government forces. @USAGMgov @HouseForeignGOP #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet "@VOAAmharic's continued tolerance of a wartime propaganda effort is too much. I cannot in good conscience remain associated with this organization.” A statement made by recently resigned staff. @VOADirector @HouseForeign #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet . @VOAAmharic reaches Abiy’s political base. If the Amharic service were impartial, if it were reporting the atrocities, it would be so important, unfortunately, it has become a mouthpiece of Abiy Ahmed. @StateDept @VOADirector @HouseForeign #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet The American taxpayer's money should not be used for war propaganda in which thousands are dying and millions are at risk. @StateDept should clear @VOAAmharic @bbgwatch @RepGregoryMeeks #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet While journos have a lot of information — on the ground — that could be reported, and expose war crimes, they are hampered at every turn by Abiy Ahmed agents inside @VOAAmharic @StateDept @voanews @SenateForeign #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet . @VOAAmharic even dared to silence Lema Megersa, the former defense minister of Ethiopia after recording him because it goes against the ruling party in Ethiopia. @StateDept @usagm_watch @SFRCdems #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet “There may be a genocide going on in Tigray right now, so as a journalist, not to mention as a Jew whose people have experienced genocide there is no way that I’m going to be a part of that.” recently resigned journalist from VOA @SenatorMenendez @SenatorRisch #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet Under the now-Horn of Africa head Tizita Belachew, @VOAAmharic is looking like an extension of the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation. @StateDept @voanews @SenateForeign #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet The VOA Horn service has a systemic bias that goes beyond one editor or manager. To change it, end the subordination of other languages to @VOAAmharic. The Afaan Oromo and Tigrigna services are routinely censored, overruled, and intimidated. @insidevoa @usagmceo #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet The VOA Horn service has a systemic bias that goes beyond one editor or manager. To change it, end the subordination of other languages to @VOAAmharic. The Afaan Oromo and Tigrigna services are routinely censored, overruled, and intimidated. @insidevoa @usagmceo #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet Dear @USAGMgov please look into the biased and discriminatory hiring practices of the VOA Horn service. Reporters are recruited, groomed, and promoted based on political preferences and relationships with senior editors or managers @VOADirector @insidevoa @usagmceo #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet The 3 language services @VOAAmharic @VOAAfaanOromoo & @VOATigrigna – have separate editors but the Amharic editor doubles as the clearinghouse through an unspoken rule. This has led to selective coverage and the silencing of voices from Oromo, Tigray, & the South.… Click To Tweet We call on @USAGMgov to hire an independent investigator to look into @VOAAmharic's coverage of #OromoProtests 2014-2021 and Tigray war to understand how VOA's coverage has contributed to political and ethnic tensions in #Ethiopia. @insidevoa @VOADirector #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet VOA Amharic has routinely censored, killed stories, and disinvited high-profile Oromo guests because the views shared by those analysts and experts displeased the editors and were critical of the Ethiopian government. @voadirector #VOAStopBias Click To Tweet The @VOAAmharic is expanding to TV under the guise of reaching 110M people. @VOAAfaanOromoo (reaching the majority of Ethiopians)& @VOATigrigna (spoken in 2 countries) are underprivileged and their coverage is scrutinized to align with the editor's pro-Abiy stances.… Click To Tweet The @VOAAmharic (and Horn) coordinator in Ethiopia, Eskinder Firew, moderates & participates in events organized by the ruling Prosperity Party. He routinely censors Oromo & Tigrigna language stringers to produce stories favorable to the govt. @VOADirector @insidevoa… Click To Tweet

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