Client State and The Double Standard of Western Media Reporting on African Countries

Alexander Yohannes

The relationship between Western mainstream media and African countries is a complex and intriguing one. Whenever the Western mainstream media reports positively about a country in Africa, it is often seen as a positive sign. However, the reverse is also true: whenever the Western mainstream media reports negatively about a country, it is often a sign that the country has become a client state of the hegemony of the United States.

The Client-State Status of Ethiopia

In the realm of international relations, the concept of a client state has played a significant role in shaping the dynamics between countries. A client state refers to a country that is dependent on a more powerful nation for economic, political, or strategic support. Ethiopia, a country known for its rich history and diverse culture, has experienced its fair share of client state dynamics.

Up until 2018, Ethiopia was a de facto client state of the United States government. However, in recent years, Ethiopia has taken steps to break free from this status. The shift from a client state to an independent nation has not only brought challenges but also shed light on the double standards exhibited by the Western mainstream media when it comes to reporting about African states.

The Constant State of Conflicts

One of the ways the United States and its allies exert influence in Ethiopia is by funding and backing liberation groups in the country. These groups often engage in activities that create constant conflicts and instability within the country. This not only distracts the government from focusing on development but also undermines the stability and security of Ethiopia.

The Economist’s Negative Reporting

When it comes to media coverage and the perception of a country’s image, there is a fascinating phenomenon that often catches our attention: whenever the Western mainstream media reports positively about a country, the reverse is generally true. This odd correlation suggests that when the Western press praises a country, it is often a sign that the country in question has become a client state of the hegemony of the United States, or that the leadership is compromising the national interests in favor of foreign interests.

Take, for example, a recent article by The Economist, titled “Ethiopia, once Africa’s ‘Asian tiger’, is on an uncertain path. A country often seen as a model for the rest of the continent may instead be a warning,” paints a negative picture of Ethiopia’s current state of affairs. In the article, the author expresses concerns about Ethiopia’s economic growth and political stability.

However, it is important to consider the source of such negative reporting. Whenever the Western mainstream media starts painting a country in Africa in a negative light, it is often a sign of either the country’s progress or a shift in the power dynamics. In the case of Ethiopia, the abolition of the client state status and the subsequent shift towards independence have made the country a target for negative reporting

The Signs of a Well-Performing Country

When a country starts doing well and defying expectations, the Western mainstream media often resorts to negative reporting and smear campaigns. This is an attempt to detract from the country’s achievements and undermine its leadership. In the case of Ethiopia, the fact that the country has managed to achieve economic growth, improve infrastructure, and invest in various sectors is a testament to its resilience and strong leadership.

When evaluating Western mainstream media’s portrayal of a country, it is crucial to scrutinize their intentions. Are they genuinely acknowledging the country’s accomplishments or attempting to undermine its autonomy? Do the reports offer constructive feedback or do they seem biased? The recent negative coverage of Ethiopia by outlets like the Economist suggests that the country’s leadership and policies prioritize national interests over external influences,

particularly from the U.S. and its allies. This demonstrates Ethiopia’s commitment to independence and sovereignty.


The Western mainstream media’s reporting on African countries is often a double standard. When a country defies expectations or challenges the status quo, it is often portrayed as a negative example. However, when the Western mainstream media starts reporting positively about a country, it should be taken as a warning sign. Ethiopia’s abolition of the client state status and its refusal to compromise its national interests have made the country a target for negative reporting. However, it is important to look beyond the headlines and recognize Ethiopia’s progress and achievements, which serve as a shining example of resilience and independence.


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