Ethiopia Expelled A Friendly Foreign Reporter

After refusing to renew his accreditation, Ethiopia expelled William Davison, a freelance journalist for The Guardian whose favorable coverage of Ethiopian government garnered criticisms from observers. The HornPost criticized Mr. Davison's coverage of Ethiopian politics in the past.

The dictatorial government's hostility towards an independent press is an open secret, particularly towards adversarial journalism practiced by the western press. To blunt criticisms from the West, Ethiopia allowed friendly journalists to report from Addis Ababa. Mr. Davison was one such friendly reporter who reported for Bloomberg and The Guardian.

The government's decision to expel the journalist has puzzled many, including Mr. Davison himself who defended his work in Ethiopia in an article he posted on Medium. William Davison berates his critics in the article while stating [he] made many mistakes in his articles. However, he did not reveal the mistakes he made in his articles from Ethiopia, and praised his own objectivity.

On Facebook, Mr. Davison said, "the Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO) appeared to be unhappy that I had ceased working for Bloomberg in January, yet I had remained active as a journalist under that license."

Ethiopian government has been attempting to navigate successive crises for the last three years, and it appears its insecurity has reached the ceiling. In the aftermath of Hailemariam Desalegn's resignation from the Prime Minister post, the Executive Council Committee declared a state of emergency to prevent public protests.

Ethiopia ranks 150th on the Press Freedom Index, according to Reporters Without Borders, an international Non-profit Organization.