Statistical Understanding of the Disparity in Media Coverage of the Conflict in Ethiopia

The media blackout and the negative coverage of Ethiopia by the mainstream media has resulted in a cascading effect, leading astray not only ordinary citizens but also academicians who you think would know better.

We sifted through news coverage of the conflict accessed through Google. Based on the assumption that journalists would uphold sacred principles of their profession and show both sides of the story, the expected outcome is an approximately equal representation of both sides.

If these were your expectations too, you would be sorely disappointed. According to our analysis, news articles were extremely more likely to mention TPLF (Tigray People Liberation Front) compared with the Government of Ethiopia (GOE), which tells you a lot about the narratives these articles are more likely to push.

During our analysis we also observed a disturbing propensity to refer to the GOE as Abiy Ahmed Ali. Have you heard of the US referred to as Biden or the UK as Johnson? The closest you get to this is the designation, the Biden Administration. This is used to insinuate that the PM is another rogue African dictator, unaccountable to even the people of Ethiopia.

When we compare the coverage the mainstream media afforded Abiy Ahmed Ali compared with TPLF, a similar picture emerges. Apart from a couple of bumps which were due to increment in negative coverage, the coverage was very low compared with TPLF.

We also compared the media coverage of Amhara and Afar regions over time and expected to see a significant bump in coverage following the withdrawal of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) from Tigray and the start of TPLF aggression towards Amhara and Afar.

Yet the same bias still persists. Amharas and Afars keep getting massacred and yet the news remained firmly fixated on Tigray, even if there has not been active fighting in Tigray for more than three months.

When you look at the pictures showing the breakdown by continents, you would be shocked by the fact how the mainstream media have been successful in making sure the Ethiopian side of the story never reached ordinary Americans and Europeans.

Based on the information fed to them by the media, people all over the world believe, with religious fervor, the 'Tigray Genocide' narrative fabricated by TPLF and peddled by their enablers in the media.

These graphs tell a sad story. The media is not being deceived by the TPLF. The media is not only complicit but also actively taking part in the deception.

If you flip a coin a hundred times and get 99 heads in a row, the coin is rigged. Ethiopians know fully well that the game is rigged against their country. Yet they will keep on fighting to preserve their long history of independence and the country they call home.

Ethiopia shall prevail, not because it can but because it must.

By @Qnie_Addis and @Samriethio