Eritrea Launches a New Media Strategy
(Asmara 04-07-2013) After years of criticism the government of Eritrea seems to have relented and is permitting operational rights to media outlets and individuals not overtly controlled by the government. The policy that is being trialed on various fronts will enable Eritrea to carve out an image that challenges the prevalent image of brutal feast and iron curtains.
Trailblazing the innovative approach to media are Eritrea’s best spin doctors, working their speciality in their selected media outlets, including social media outlets frequented by Eritreans and Eritrea enthusiasts.
The new policy is said to be engineered by the only Independent Journalist in the country, Mr Thomas C Mountain. Mr T C Mountain has been residing in Asmara since 2007 and has made notable contributions to the status of free media in the country. In response to his numerous achievement the Government of Eritrea gave him the accord only awarded to the last remaining white man residing in the country (a fete he attained when following the eviction of several aid workers and journalists at the start of the decade). Currently Mr Mountain (who is known locally as Wedi Gobo), heads Eritrea’s Media think tank that specialises in creative application of facts to obscure glaring reality.
According to Mr Mountain ‘as it so obviously hasn’t been possible to isolate Eritrea and cocoon our public in our brand of reality, we are now experimenting with a careful mix of creative reality that addresses the niggling concern of those who are finding it difficult to defend the Eritrea, quote unquote, position’. Answering questions on what this would mean in reality Mr Mountain explained how he had been experimenting with this form of ‘scientific’ journalism for a good few years he said: ‘ do you remember when the British ex marines were detained here in Massawa? Inevitably we couldn’t hide that piece of news for long so I invented a courageous woman, placed her in the vicinity of the events and the rest was history as widely posted by myself across the World Wide Web of undiscerning media. Earlier this year during the so called Forto Operations, I invented a dinner invitation at a popular club in Asmara for the dissenting soldiers and even an overnight stay at Asmara’s equivalent of Mayfair’. Mr Mountain is adamant that this not deception but creativity employed to curb the whip of frenzy that can follow events such as the afore mentioned.
Commenting on the roll out of this brand of journalism to Eritrea’s finest Mr Mountain noted that ‘it is amazing how quickly people take innovative techniques around here; even old schoolers such as Yemane Ghebreab and the FM, Mr Osman Saleh, seem to have seamlessly woven my brand of creative application of imaginative realities to marvellous effect as you saw in their recent meetings with our adherents in the US. Madote.com and Tesfa news are marvellous, I am so proud of the way that they have taken to this like a duck to water. Last week Tesfa news did a piece on Sinai and Ethiopian victims, marvellously and this was a talking point right across our diaspora supporters, as it meant they can safely discuss trafficking without the dilemma of calling for accountability from our government here. Few days ago Madote.com did another brilliant article on the opposition youth movements, again enabling us to discuss the phenomena without niggling concerns about the fact that Eritrea isn’t supposed to have ‘opposition! Quote unquote’
According to Mr Mountain, other early adopters of this new school of journalism and social media communication are Rahel Woldeab and Yemane Gebremeskel, on Twitter, Ambassador T M Gerahtu on Paltalk.
Finally talking about the fate of Eritrea’s others Independent Journalists Mr Mountain stated that, as Sept 18, 2001 happened way before his arrival in Eritrea it is very difficult to invent or spin reality that he wasn’t a party to, but he was quick to add ‘that occurred a long time ago, I wish people would move on, we have! Here on the streets of Asmara no one remembers that there were other newspapers and God forbid other ‘independent journalists’ quote unquote!’