On Tuesday August 15th, the EYFF organized a tour at the Ministry of Information for the diaspora youth. The Ministry of Information, also known as ‘Enda Zena’ is one of the biggest ministries with over 800 employees. The group who toured the Ministry consisted of thirteen people coming from Australia, Germany, The Netherlands and The United Kingdom. The group was warmly welcomed by the head of the IT department who was our tour guide.
The tour guide started by showing the newsroom and gave an explanation on how the researchers and news presenters gather information. There is one area with multiple televisions that show all big news stations from around the world. This is to know and to keep up with what other countries are reporting about. The rest of the newsroom has desks with computers where the researchers can search up and gather relevant information before presenting it. After seeing the newsroom, we got the opportunity to see the studio. The studio is divided into three different sections. One section is for the news and the other two sections are where all the interviews are held. They even turned on the camera for a moment, so that we could see ourselves on the screen.
After seeing the studio we went to the department with all the archives. There are archive rooms for the newspaper, video and audio. The first archive room we visited had every single newspaper that has ever been published in Eritrea. We even got to see the very first ‘Hadas Ertra’ newspaper that has ever been published. Then we got to see the video room where they showed us old footage from the 30 year independence war. And lastly, we saw the audio room. After the archive rooms we went to the radio studio where Radio Dimtsi Hafash is recorded. During the tour the tour guide explained that they are now in the process of digitalizing everything. Some of the footages and audio that we saw date back to the early 1970’s. In the archive room of the newspaper, there is a big scanning machine and there is someone who scans every newspaper room. In the video room, there is someone who transfers all the footage from hard copy to soft copy and the same in the audio room.
Overall, it was very interesting to see how the news presenters gather information and their method of work. What was even more interesting was to see all the archive rooms and to see all the history that has been recorded over time. It is also great to have learned that the Ministry of Information is working on digitalizing everything so hopefully all this history will be available for every Eritrean to see!
Written by Sifora Berhane