Watchdog Journalism And Vigilant Society
A group of freedom fighters that we thought of as lambs turned out to be as beasts of prey.
I am writing this piece in reaction to what our respected sister Selam Kidane published under the title of, “No The Sky Isn’t Falling … But Foxy Loxy Does Exist”.
My focus will be on the portion of her blame to the press (Awate.com’s Gedab News) for its news report about the expected gathering of “A Conference To Align EU-USA Policy Towards Eritrea.”
Democracy demands transparency and accountability. Any political group, party or leader who acts in the name of the people should be ready to answer the inquires and questions of the people. It is the right of the people to be informed about the political activities related to their. This is an elementary and it is a fundamental of democracy.
The press is one of the tools of a democratic society. It investigates and disseminates information to enlighten the people. The press is assumed to play a central role in making political organizations and politicians open and accountable. In democratic societies, holding politicians accountable is one of the most fundamental tasks of the press.
The game of our present struggle is different; contrary to the authoritarian regime, all political actors have agreed to the ideals of democracy. They are expected to despise the Isaias model of reaching to and controlling power. Inclusion, justice and respect are supposed to be the norm of the present game.
Opposition groups should understand the current disposition of the Eritrean people. Ending up with a ruthless homegrown despot after decades of struggle was a devastating slap that will never be forgotten. It is unbearable experience to be repeated again.
No sober person will settle for the Gwayla and Koboro diversity of TV screens. Equally, no person would tolerate the sneaking in through the windows, an act that contradicts the spirit of democracy. People should be represented by elected person and organization with constituenties. This is one of the plain requisitions of a democratic society.
An article or news report published in a newspaper doesn’t necessarily represent the views of its editors. As all of us know, the role of a free press is to deliver information to the reader without censoring it. To relate any article or news that appeared in a certain medium of press with the editors bluntly signifies a fight against free press. The place where an article or news represent its owners is in dictatorial regimes.
Democratic systems require vigilant societies. If we observe our people’s frenzied activities to get information or to challenge undemocratic practices, it must denotes that we are moving to the right direction. Alertness will protect us from would-be dictators and corrupted politicians. Encouraging our people to be vigilant in all issues concerning their country is a healthy sign that leads towards a peaceful democratic nation.
Gedab news has done its journalistic job. It has to be encouraged for what it has done.
We have to encourage all Eritrean media to play their role in informing the people about all the political activities related to our country. If it is possible, we would also like to know where our politicians dined on a daily basis. The moment people become public figures, all their movements concerns the entire society.
I read our respected sister Selam Kidane with great interest. Her attempt to prevent from us from getting information disappointed me greatly, but I hope it is unintentional.
Lastly, I aspire that the democratic and the humane voice of our respected sister Selam Kidane would continue to enriching Eritreans. I am sure, she believes in our right to know any information about our country; she also understands that the role of the press is to disseminate information. She conceives it is the duty of politicians to illustrate their activities to the people. Any politician who is irritated by inquiries and accountability should resign politics. If that is the case, the politician is not fit for a democratic society.