Tadias Responds to Sudan Tribune’s Incorrect Article

Open Letter to Sudan Tribune
Updated: Thursday, April 9, 2009

To the Editor,

This is in response to Abera Hailu’s article on your publication entitled “Ethiopia’s Diaspora Media and Copyright Violation“.

It is unfortunate that Mr. Hailu’s article violates a basic tenet of journalism. It is standard practice in our industry that a journalist contacts the subject of a story, and inquires with the subject as to the veracity of the content before publishing it. Tadias was not contacted by Abera Hailu (or any other staff of Sudan Tribune), and we wish he would have done so. Had we been contacted by the writer, here is what we would have told him:

“The concern for the well-being of Ethiopian journalists, whether in the Diaspora or at home, is a valid one. We are all too aware of the unauthorized use of our own original content by numerous newspapers and websites in Ethiopia. In one instance, a publication even went as far as changing the name of the original contributing author on one of our articles before re-posting it on its website. This constitutes the definition of copyright violation.

However, posting news feeds while citing their original source is not copyright violation. We direct your attention to numerous world media organizations who derive their daily news from outside sources. Tadias does not publish outside articles in their entirety without the consent and permission of the original author or publication. In addition, we do not post cited news articles in their entirety. When we cite news articles we post brief newsfeeds and include a “read more” link, which takes our readers directly to the original online source.

Tadias is a media organization that publishes both original content and distributes news from other outlets while properly citing the original sources. Our original content features news, events, personality profiles and historical commentaries, and the magazine aims to show Ethiopian Americans not merely as one distinct immigrant group in the U.S., but also as vibrant members and contributors of the American tapestry. We find your comments baseless, incorrect, and irresponsible journalism at best.”

Sincerely,

Tadias Magazine

8 Responses to “Tadias Responds to Sudan Tribune’s Incorrect Article”


  1. 1 Observer uk co Apr 7th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Great response Tadias!

  2. 2 Henok Apr 7th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Good response Tadias.

    But I read the article by the Ethiopian journalists complaining about your tadias.com and other websites like nazret.com the article says unauthorized distribution of articles. So even if you provide the source of the article, posting the whole article on Tadias without permission can also be illegal. I think.

    Anyway, all websites should work together to help journalists in Ethiopia who are risking their life to work in the dangerous profession.

  3. 3 Tadias Magazine Apr 8th, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Dear Henok,

    We note your point regarding the practice of posting entire articles without permission. Tadias doesn’t publish outside articles in their entirety without the consent and permission of the original author or publication. In addition, Tadias does not post cited news articles in their entirety. When we cite news articles we post brief newsfeeds and include a “read more” link, which takes our readers directly to the original online source.

    We understand that there may be other online media organizations who subscribe regularly to the practice of cutting and pasting in whole – a practice not to be solely deemed an “Ethiopia Diaspora media problem.” Tadias is not one of these organizations, and there is no excuse for slack journalism, which lumps Ethiopia-related Diaspora media outlets all in the same wagon in an over-generalized manner. We can only commend the journalist for attempting to address the issue of copyright if he/she has properly done their homework first. In this case, it was not so, and we have addressed it as required.

    Tadias Magazine

  4. 4 Digew Apr 8th, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Dear Tadias Magazine,

    I have read both sides of the story and I admire your professionalism and for handling this openly and in public. Sudan Tribune should have done their homework! In fact, it is a promotion for other websites when you reroute readers to the original source. We all know who is cutting and pasting.

  5. 5 Dula Apr 9th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Sudan Tribune’s righteous indignation is misplaced. How about for the fact that Ethiopian Diaspora Media including Tadias, Nazret, Ethiopolitics, Ethiomedia, etc, push vast amounts of traffic to the websites in Ethiopia, which otherwise disappear without a trace. Has the author Mr. Abera Hailu have heard of Google, Drudge Report, Huffington Post and Digg? These are sites that regularly link to outside newspaper? If at all, it is the changing nature of media and technology to blame, not the Ethiopian Diaspora Media. Copyright issue is interesting, but it has to be done professionally and with good research.

    Thank you.

  6. 6 Kokeb Dangnew Apr 9th, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Dear Tadias Magazine,

    I have also read both sides and I agree with you. I have been your reader since you were a small black and white print magazine in the Bay Area 6 years ago. I used to pick up at the Habesha beauty shop in Oakland. I have always loved you guys because you are always respectful and positive and you strive for high standards. I respect you for it. I have saved up every print copy of Tadias that you ever produced I have it on my bookshelf. I was really sad when the print was discontinued. But I love Tadias.com even more because now I don’t have to wait three month to get it.

    I think most Ethiopian-Diaspora websites are giving good services. Every morning I check Nytimes.com for world news and cnn, msnbc, Huggigton post, etc. Then I check Tadias to see what’s new! And I go to Nazret.com for Ethiopia news and what’s hot. I love nazret too. Sometime I leave a comment. It is important to have Diaspora websites that brings news from Ethiopia. I also love Cyberethiopia. I think cyberethiopia is like the Google of Ethiopia. I see both Tadias and Nazret on cyberethiopia. I also see Tadias content on nazret sometimes, but always properly cited. By the way nazret also always cites sources and they are very good. I also like Ethiomedia because they agree with my political views and they support my Ethiopian sister Judge Birtukan. I visit all of them before I start my work. So my point is that I agree that this is a problem caused by the new technology like the internet and blog, etc. I heard on the radio that The Associated Press was upset that some websites like Google News and huffigtonpost.com. etc, are using their content without paying. But at the same time, AP doesn’t mind the traffic that Google News and huffingtonpost brings them. It is an issue to be solved only when the internet becomes governable. In the mean time, I am sure individual newspapers can contact diaspora websites individually and request for their content not to be used. I doubt they will do that because what’s the point of news if people don’t see it. If the individual small private papers request for their content not to be used, then the diaspora websites should respect the request. But I am sure it can be handled on the individual basis. In the same way, I don’t understand why newspapers will complain about Nazret, tadias and cyberethiopia when they are getting thousands of hits from this Diaspora websites. It doesn’t make sense. I think Sudan Tribune got it wrong. The issue of copyright is so important for artist like musicians, filmmaker not only in the U.S.A. but also in Ethiopia. I have heard a horror story from my friend who makes films both here and in Ethiopia. And he has a big problem in Ethiopia as well as in the Ethiopian community in America. So let’s look at all sides and work together for the good of the future of our beloved country! Keep up the good work!

    Sincerely,
    Kokeb Dangnew

  7. 7 Abraham Apr 9th, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Dear Tadias,

    I appreciate your hard work and response to the writer but we have to admit that unlike your website and your stuff most of Ethiopian news websites publish and run their websites from automated news feeds. That’s the reason why we see the same kind web links and news in each website. I personally don’t want to see fresh news copied and pasted by Nazret.com with out properly acknowledging the source. We don’t have to be a rocket scientists to understand the day to day life of Addis Ababa based website. I don’t want to see also some body building his entire career by cheating and claiming most visited website (cyberethiopia and nazret).

    Tadias, I thank you guys again for your citing and forwarding readers to the original news source.

    Thank you
    Abraham

  8. 8 Ethiopian Apr 9th, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Tadias,

    i appreciate your reply to the sudan tribune article too. i think we should all work together. TADIAS.com does a good job of citing the reference of original article. at the same time, Tadias.com has many original articles that are informative and interesting. sadly, other diaspora websites do not follow rules. some websites like ethiopolitics.com sometimes does not site the source of the articles from ethiopian newspapers. and we know ethiopianreview.com and nazret.com always copies articles from ethiopian newspapers. most of the time they don’t put reference. people already know about addis fortune and other addis ababa based news websites who existed long time before nazret.com so nazret.com and ethiomedia stealing articles from addis ababa based websites do not help bring traffic.

    i think respect is the most important thing. Tadias.com is producing its own original articles and should be awarded. those websites who say they are famous after stealing other people articles should be ashamed of themselves!!

    Respect each other, respect the rules.

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