Mekelle University: U.S. Embassy Representatives Visit Department of Journalism and Communication

Mr. Nicholas Barnet, Information Officer at US Embassy, speaking to the participants (PHOTO: Mekelle University)

The Department of Journalism and Communication (DJC) held a cooperative discussion with representatives from American Embassy on 12 October, 2016 at Adi-Haki Campus, Mekelle University.

The discussion with the US Embassy representatives was aimed to share an international experience, to discussion about the Journalism profession in Ethiopian discourse and also talk about the continuation of collaborative relations with the US Embassy which it was already created some years before. Thus, the consultative discussion was attended by staff members and students of the department of Journalism and Communication.

Dr. Zenawi Zerihun, Dean of the College of Social Science and Languages of Mekelle University, has made an opening speech to welcome the guests. In his opening speech, he thanked the guests for their coming to MU university and accentuated the importance of such a discussion with the university and the department in particular. As a journalists have great role in realizing democracy in our country, conversing with the department of Journalism and Communication about the profession and creating linkage with the US embassy found to be worth whiling and important said Dr. Zenawi. After that, Mr. Mebrahten Gebremariam, Head Department of Journalism and Communication, has presented a brief over view of the department.

On the occasion, Mr. Nicholas Barnet, Information Officer at American Embassy to Ethiopia, also speaks about Journalism profession in US perspective. In his presentation, he articulated the big role of Journalists in assuring democracy and development in a certain Country. Giving the historian back ground of America as instance, Mr. Nicholas has asserted how the journalist had been played great role to bring today’s America democratization process to this level. In this regard, he said “People need to be informed and well awarded to make a wise decision. Hence, it is mainly the journalists who can achieve this purpose.” He, as press officer, has also forwarded his thought regarding verification and telling the facts as basic principles in the profession. Thus, he shared his point of view to the participants as regards the way journalism should be practiced to inform an appropriate information and in so doing to obtain public trust. Thereby, he recommended that journalists should verify and tell the facts as all news sources and information may not always be credible as a result of which the public could be misled consuming wrong information.

On the other hand, a third year students of the department have conducted a Prompt Interview with Mr. Nicholas. Therefore, general questions about the profession in Ethiopia and Mr. Nicholas’s personal experiences over the course of his career have been entertained in the interview session.

The discussion with the US Embassy representatives was successfully finalized after another fruitful discussion with the staff members of the department was held at the head office of the Department. So, the representatives assured that the US Embassy will be much grateful to work with Mekelle University cooperatively especially with the DJC and the embassy assumes to offer various supports and assistance to empower the department.

Source: Mekelle University