Forty-one days passed since Prime Minster Meles Zenawi was seen on public. In the days after his last appearance on Ethiopian State Television ETV, social media particularly Facebook and Twitter was used to give sensitive information about Meles Zenawi’s health, the hospital where he is being treated, the kind and the cause of his ailment, his being deceased are among other emerging topics related to Meles Zenawi. Had twitter have a feature for trending-topics of East Africa, I am sure Meles Zenawi would have reached the level of trending-topic; despite his name high on twitter Ethiopians do not yet know where Meles Zenawi is, what happened to him whether he is dead or alive.

Yesterday many had hoped Bereket Simon, a government spokesman would give a hint about the whereabouts of the head of the government but he refused to give any details about Prime Minister Meles’ whereabouts or the cause his ailment. This definitely would set other speculations in motion as people already start to say if Prime Minster Meles Zenawi is in a good condition and recuperating bring him on television. So who shall we follow for trustworthiness on PM Meles Zenawi government media? Exile Media or Diaspora Media depending on the tag you wish to bestow or the social media?

A deliberately deprived Ethiopian local news media have generated cascade of news on the whereabouts of PM Meles Zenawi that are becoming increasingly tough to be trusted or not to be trusted depending on the news you lean to trust. Before the dust settles on the whereabouts of Meles Zenawi’s I find it enthusing to reflect on the wider significance of the where is Meles Zenawi saga because as the particles do come down to rest, they will surly cover up some real and possibly endemic problems of Ethiopia journalism. I have found no better summary of the present limbo than this Mesfen Negash’e tweet.

Mesfin listed all major media that are involved in major twists of Meles Zenawi saga and tweeted

The fate of Meles Zenawi carries a heavy price for [Ethiopian] media asserting his status, credibility on balance

Yet again who shall we trust then and how

Well let’s start with theoretical foundations for a trustworthiness system Scholar & practitioner Patrick has quoted from Panagiotis Metaxas & Eni Mustafaraj research document and wrote:

Our concept of trustworthiness comes from the epistemology of knowledge. When we believe that some piece of information is trustworthy (e.g., true, or mostly true), we do so for intrinsic and/or extrinsic reasons. Intrinsic reasons are those that we acknowledge because they agree with our own prior experience or belief. Extrinsic reasons are those that we accept because we trust the conveyor of the information. If we have limited information about the conveyor of information, we look for a combination of independent sources that may support the information we receive (e.g., we employ “triangulation” of the information paths). In the design of our system we aim to automatize as much as possible the process of determining the reasons that support the information we receive. We define as trustworthy, information that is deemed reliable enough (i.e., with some probability) to justify action by the receiver in the future. In other words, trustworthiness is observable through actions.

It looks the Prime Minister will not come and disprove all the speculations about his whereabouts and his wellbeing anytime soon. If trustworthiness cannot be observable through actions according to the above theory of Extrinsic reasons you can look for a combination of independent sources that may support the information you receive (e.g., you employ “triangulation” of the information paths). Hence in my opinion it is sensible to hunt for rumors on Twitter and Facebook but make sure to pay attention to the following list of social media pages and mainstream media outlets.

There is a general belief that “Truthiness” has some natural buoyancy on social media particularly on twitter truth “floats to the top” hence I will start with twitter pages:
Mohammed Ademo
Tamrat G. Giorgis
Abiye Teklemariam
Getachew T. Alemu
Elies Kifle
Bruh Yihunbelay
Tesfalem Waldyes
Daniel Berhane
SM 4 New Ethiopia
On Facebook pay attention to the posts of Jawar Mohammed

To have a perspective on the matter you must give a due attention for the following mainstream media

Ethiopian Television
Addis Fortune with particular spotlight on Fine Line
De Birahan
The Ethiopian Reporter
Global Voices

Finally use your head!

5 Responses to “How and who to follow on the whereabouts of Meles Zenawi”

  1. eweket

    It is sad that the conclusion is i need to use my head, where it should be my ears 🙁

  2. Samoa

    Dear Endalk,
    I enjoyed your english very much. It shows you are good reader. However, I am baffled by the idea that you labeled ESAT as one of the media that must rceive attention. ESAT is a partisan media filled with hatred lies against Meles. It is a mesia that presented a supposedly picture of Meles in bed by surgically operating (using photoshop) one tatood-white man’s bed ridden picture as that of Meles and many other lies. I consider ESAT as that of a desperate sucide bomber who would fool himself to go to heaven by killing others.

  3. eweket

    Daniel Berhane’s link isn’t the right one. If you are his tweeter page please correct it to.

    Besides, it makes sense to place the Daniel Berhane’s blog into The mainstream media even though it doesn’t fit to your category. Many people don’t think Blog is a social media – but it is a social media. Actually all, social networks dvided into two… Blogging and Microblogging (i.e facebook, twitter ..etc)

  4. zeelittletes

    I enjoyed beyond the info.
    I don’t think it will be easy to make the public convinced later on after hiding the situation for long; I am eager to hear the truth, when and who will break it?

  5. Daniel

    The point is none of them including you seems to know where Melse is. Lets see and wait. Time will tell.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *


1 2 3 10
April 11th, 2017

Ethiopia spied on US citizen of Ethiopian origin and won a dismissal

Ethiopian government won dismissal of a lawsuit by Kidane, an American citizen of Ethiopian origin who sought to hold Ethiopian […]

March 24th, 2013

From Supreme Court to Council of Ministers

A note on my absence I have not been blogging on my personal blog since last August but not without […]

August 14th, 2012

An Initiative of Ethiopian Media Council: A Media Regulatory Body without the Existence of Media is a Joke

Last week “The Capital”, one of the three weekly English newspapers ran an article about “Members of Ethiopian Media decision […]

August 2nd, 2012

How and who to follow on the whereabouts of Meles Zenawi

Introduction Forty-one days passed since Prime Minster Meles Zenawi was seen on public. In the days after his last appearance […]

July 28th, 2012

Unpacking the rumor dynamics about the whereabouts of Meles Zenawi

Prime Minster Meles Zenawi has always been a man of mysteries and at this time he kept being conspicuously a […]

June 18th, 2012

A Perspective on the New Ethiopian Telecom Bill

Well we Ethiopians have never had dragons in our mythology and folklore like Chinese but so far there has been […]

June 9th, 2012

በዚህ ሳምንት(ከ June 2-9) የኢትዮጵያ ብሎጎች ምን ጻፉ?

አንዳንድ ጋዜጠኞች “አማረ አረጋዊ አሁንም ከወያኔ ስርአት ጋር ይሰራል” ሲሉ ይፅፋሉ። ሌሎች ደግሞ፣ ‘በቂ ገንዘብና ጠንካራ መንፈስ ስላለው ተቋቁሞአቸው እንጂ፣ […]

May 28th, 2012

The New Ethiopian Telecom Service Infringements Law. Is it the most creative way of copying SOPA and PIPA?

The new Ethiopian Telecom Service Infringement Law was ratified last Thursday on May 24th 2012 .The new Telecom Law meant […]

May 24th, 2012

Ethiopia free press situation on the spotlight

A recent G-8 meeting brought Ethiopia free press situation on the spotlight again. The meeting caused gatherings of free press […]

May 20th, 2012

Ethiopia English Blogs Roundup

For my Amharic blog roundup followers I promise it is coming up but for now I decided to do English […]