BY AKLILE TSIGE /ABN/
“Volunteers are love in the motion”.
journalist Getu Temesgen
Our first ABN 10 questions corner brings you one of the most popular Ethiopian journalists, Getu Temesgen who is known for his unique presentation and program content. Getu had worked at the former Ethiopian Radio & Television Agency (now EBC) for over a decade, mainly at the SUNDAY ENTERTAINMENT SHOW with which he managed to reveal and produce fascinating and hidden human-touch stories. He has received various awards, including Green Hero and Tana Awards for his magnificent documentary films and related TV shows. Moreover, he was named as “A Journalist with an Eagle Eye” BY a French TV station. New social ABN’s Editor-in-Chief AKLILE TSIGE now takes the opportunity to talk to Getu on his media business and related issues.
ABN: Just tell us a little bit about yourself.
Getu: Born, grew up and studied in the capital Addis Ababa, I graduated in Journalism & Communication from Addis Ababa University. I had served as a freelance writer for various print media. Moreover, I worked at the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency (currently called EBC) for twelve years. I had mainly produced different TV shows for Africa Journal, News coverage and 120 Entertainment Programs.
I received various awards for my memorable TV productions at ETV / EBC. In 2008 a French-based TV witnessed my reputation from the audience and named me “ባለንሥሩዓይንጋዜጠኛ – A Journalist with an Eagle Eye”. My three TV shows were translated in French and aired via the station. With the producer‘s invitation, I had the opportunity to pay visits to Germany, Italy, France, and Belgium where I was able to gain insight into Europe’s socio-cultural reality and media landscape.
One of my TVproductions, ‘Greening Konso’` that depicts the long-standing natural conservation culture of the Konso community in the southern Ethiopian Region attributes to the “Green Hero” award I have received. Following the show-“Greening Konso”, UNESCO and the Ethiopian Heritage Conservation Authority, as well as the Konso Special District Administration, extended their recognition and awards to me.
Currently, I, GetuTemsgen – (ጌጡተመስገን) have got over 720,000 followers, viewing my different posts on my popular Facebook page. Coming soon, I’ll be launching- a YouTube channel called “Yagerbetdimits – የአገርቤትድምፅ.
ABN: How could you manage to start your business on social media (Facebook page)?
Getu: Nowadays, Facebook has become the largest social network in the world. It’s been 15years since the creation of Facebook, a platform that revolutionized social media in the United States and around the world. Facebook remains immensely popular – and profitable, so, the moment I left EBC I had to embark on launching my own Facebook page, taking advantage of the popularity I have gained from my TV audience.
ABN: What are the main issues you cover on your page?
Getu: I am gathering and broadcasting news and current affairs. I believe I have been disclosing timely, credible and reliable information on which people are in need.
ABN: Do you think people in Ethiopia use social media to disseminate fair, balanced and reliable information, or for constructive and development purposes?
Getu : Of course, Facebook and Twitter are playing positive as well as negative roles in Ethiopia and elsewhere in the world. Here in our country, there are people who release fair, balanced and reliable information that are very important to bring about socio-economic as well as cultural changes. On the contrary, there are also people working day and night to fuel violence, conflict, and hatred.
ABN: How do you evaluate the business development on your page?
Getu: The creative – ad copy and all visual elements are part of the Facebook ad that will catch most people’s attention. And I don’t just want to catch only people’s attention. I want to catch people’s attention through bringing human-touch, and life-related stories to them. I am always advising myself to grow in line with my own pace, not to compare myself to others, Just to focus on own success. Hence, I’m witnessing good business development on my page.
ABN: How could you approach your clients?
Getu: There’re people who recommend others to place their ads. on my page. Many believe that a Facebook page with over 700, 000 followers is one of the most accessible channels to promote products and services. I don’t go to people and persuade them to bring their ads. or announcement to me.
ABN: How fair and reasonable is your price for posting different advertisements or information?
Getu:I think mine is very fair and reasonable. I’m a journalist who feels social, national and cultural responsibilities. Let others speak on this issue.
ABN: As compared to mainstream media such as TV and radio, how is Facebook page going on in terms of reaching target groups?
Getu: Here are a few of the reasons that there are immense differences between traditional and social media: first Social media reaches a maximum audience, while traditional media’s audience is generally more targeted. Second Social media is versatile (you can make changes once published), whereas traditional media, once published, is set in stone. Third Social media is immediate, while traditional can be delayed due to press times. Fourth Social media is a two-way conversation, and traditional is one-way. And fifth Social media often has unreliable demographic data, but traditional media is more accurate and bound to accountability. Therefore, to the best of my knowledge, the mainstreaming media remains a bit credible than the social ones. I think this requires research.
ABN: What about“ Afalgun”, or Wanted, and go fund me kinds of posts? Do you receive money for such an announcement? If not, why?
Getu: What is the essence of life? I think it’s to serve others and do good.” – This’sspoken by Greek philosopher Aristotle over 2300 years ago. Volunteering is becoming increasingly important these days. The greatest thing about volunteering may be the benefits it offers to individual recipients, their communities, and the volunteers themselves. Volunteers are love in motion. Thus, I’m doing those kinds of services free of charge.
ABN: Tell us the opportunities and threats (advantages and disadvantages) of using the Facebook page for business in Ethiopia?
Getu:: Facebook is changing the way we think, feel and chat: A better Internet communication, Friend Finder feature helps you to find out your friends, with their names or email addresses., Also one of the biggest advantages of Facebook is business promotion.
You can start making FB pages for your brand or company and can use this advantage to earn money online, Facebook is the best thing to spend your time when you don’t have to do anything and just getting bored, The best part of the Facebook is that you do not have to pay money for its use and it’s the best medium for communication in the social networking sites, A platform to share feelings, life events Through Facebook, it is very easy to share your feeling, opinion and what’s happening in your life.
As far as the disadvantages of Facebook are concerned, people just start living in this virtual world and spend hours and hours on Facebook. Due to this, a new type of disorder has also come in human life (“Facebook Addiction” A new disorder), the fight continues against fake profiles & phishing bots (Opening an account, making a fake profile & ID is simple for anyone on the Facebook. And there is no limit for these fake profiles. There are so many cases of harassment & abuse that are often formulated by the fake accounts; this may compel many facebookers to turn their faces off this medium due to lack of credibility, thereby making the promotion of products and services difficult.