Ethiopian Mass Media “not contributing to peace, unity in the country”

Conflict and aftermath of it in Ethiopia focus of mass media most of the time, a view from a joint meeting between Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia and Broadcast Authority

borkena
January 5, 2021 

Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia, which was established in 2010 with a vision to advocate for  religious freedom and equality based on peace, love and tolerance, and Ethiopian Broadcast Authority had co-organized a forum to discuss challenges in connection with the media landscape in the country. 

Religious leaders and broadcast authorities were among key participants in the meeting. 

The assessment reflected in the meeting is that several mass media entities focus on violence and conflict while ignoring their role for peace building. 

And research papers have been presented  during the meeting. Among the findings from 15 media outlets in the country, 28 percent of their focus on political matters and 18 percent of the coverage is related to violence and humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of violence.   

There is limitation in terms of news coverage relevant for averting violence, and that 90 percent of the coverage is related to post-violence situations. 

The common understanding they reached is, according to a report by Ethiopian News Agency,  that Ethiopian Mass Media are not doing their part in the direction of fostering peace and unity of the country. 

It is also said, as reported by Ethiopian News Agency, media ethics is not in a collision course with religious teachings of any faith, and mass media is expected to magnify cherished values of the society.  

Secretary of Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia, Kesis Tagay Tadele, is quoted as saying that mass media in the country were favoring dissemination of reports that erode unity of the people over providing accurate information. Particularly criticized was a narrative that resonates “us versus them”.  

The negative impact of the biased reports on the security of citizens has been highlighted. Ethiopia has been facing recurring massacres, especially in Oromo region, South Ethiopia and Benishangul regions, since prime minister Abiy Ahmed took office in April 2018. At least 207 people have been slaughtered in Benishangul Gumuz region in the latest string of massacre which happened in late December 2020. 

Mulatu Alemayehu (Ph.D), instructor of journalism at Addis Ababa University, on his part said that hate speeches from political activists are distributed to the public as news contents. 

The existing Ethiopian system of government is based on ethnic federalism. Each of the ethnic-based states have their own ethnic-based media. Political activism, including in the opposition quarter, is mostly based on ethnicity too. 



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4 Responses to "Ethiopian Mass Media “not contributing to peace, unity in the country”"

  1. Ittu Aba Farda   January 6, 2021 at 3:22 am

    They are absolutely right. I have been complaining about the contents of the news outlets like the BBC have been reporting. These are not rookies to the profession since they have been reporting news for almost a century with some of them even more than a century. My observation about them is that they have abandoned news reporting and are now advocates/activists. What they have done to the old country is just a travesty of justice. Just look at the some of BBC’s reporting about the law enforcement campaign in Tigray the current border incidences with Sudan. The message has been that both incidences were caused by one instigator. BBC is telling us that PM Abiy had decided to go after the goons of the TPLF just to appease the instigators Amharas. The current border crisis is the creation of Amharas. They are the pariahs. This is very concerning. This may lead to a massacre of a group of people. I am calling upon my dear countrymen/women to band together across religious and ethnic lines and expose such reckless behavior by these media outlets. BBC and its peers do not look at the fact that those soldiers who went into Tigray to maintain law and order are not from one ethnic group only. There are thousands of Oromos, Amharas, Somalis, Afars, Sidamas and countless others even many Tigrayans. They did not go in there and put their lives in jeopardy just to make one ethnic group happy. They saw what those goons in the top shelf of the TPLF were doing. They saw them trying to shred their mother country to pieces. Let’s band together and avert additional massacres.

    Reply
  2. demeke   January 6, 2021 at 7:11 am

    ye chenekew erguz yagebal they fueld the hate and decalre somoething different now

    are they regretting now ??

    Reply
  3. Ittu Aba Farda   January 6, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    My other concern has lately been the political environment here the USA. It is tense and highly charged up. It could escalate between now and the Inauguration Day. The loss in the Georgia senate race is gonna put more fuel to the raw emotion by the misguided protestors. There you have it, folks. My fear is justified. People are gathering up at the capital with such negative energy to disrupt the certification process of the election results. It has been peaceful so far but we should know that it is going to take just one or two deranged individuals to turn into undesired directions. Let’s hope level heads will prevail but it is more concerning to me now. The loss in the senate race in Georgia seems to fuel the raw emotion of the misguided crowd. It is good to see the president tweet urging the protestors to remain peaceful. I have been thru more than ten election seasons but never seen such a highly charged up environment like this one. So my dear countrymen/women! Please keep yourself abreast with the latest development especially those of who live in and around the capital and the state of Georgia/Atlanta. This tense moment could even be escalating between now and the Inauguration Day. Then it is going to take just one analyst-wannabe loose lip to be right on the mainstream media and tell the audience the new immigrants have played a tipping role for the victory to go to the other side. They were the Irish, Italians, Jews and others before to be blamed and now it could be the ‘new’ immigrants. So keep your antennas up and eyes wide open. If you see or hear something suspicious call the good folks of law enforcement near you. May The Almighty Our Creator Blanket You/Protect You!!!!!

    Reply
  4. YeQolo Astemari   January 6, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Most Ethiopians including me did not invest in the GERD bond to buy earth moving machineries (EXCAVATORS) THAT WILL BE USED TO burry civilians bodies , recently in Metekel , Benidhsngul Gumuz excavator machinery was used to officially burry hundreds in a mass grave hoping to deny the dead publicity or to deny the dead press coverage.

    If these dead were rich wealthy tujars with their famiies serving food to the mourners you would have seen one of the biggest mourning ceremony in the world in Metekel going on continuously until now, but when the dead was penniless they got burried by excavator earth moving machinery burying them hundreds bodies together in the same grave hole. Not one religion leader want to admit this fact so they are blaming mass medias for admiring this fact.

    Ethiopians like to sugarcoat everything! Most Ethiopians are raised from childhood to lie , parents trained their children to cover up reality by pretending as if everything is ok while it is not. Then when someone passes dies all hell breaks loose, hundreds if not thousands show up to eat food/mourn, unless someone dies even when the person is at the verge of death that person is expected to pretend as if everything is ok. I BET YOU AT ANY MOURNING WAKE CEREMONIES IF FOOD WAS NOT SERVED AT THE WAKE CEREMONY 90% OF THE MOURNERS WOULD NOT HAVE SHOWN UP. WHERE FOOD IS SCARCE RECENTLY IN BENISHANGUL GUMUZ REGION
    METEJEL ZONE WE SEEN HUNDREDS
    OF DEAD PEOPLE BODIES GETTING BURRIED BEING PUSHED IN BY EARTH MOVING MACHINERIES BORROWED FROM THE GERD CONSTRUCTION PROJECT.

    If you ask Ethiopians “ENDEMIN neh/ENDEMIN nesh?(How are you?)” 99.99% of Ethiopians answer “DEHNA (I AM FNE IAM OK)” . THIS CULTURE OF FALSE PRIDE , FALSE PROUDNESS , PRETENDING AND COVERING UP THE TRUTH SHOULD STOP!

    We should not wait until our limbs fall off to realize we are not ok.

    Truth hurts! MOST MEDIAS ARE REPORTING THE TRUTH EVEN IF IT HURTS SO MY HATS ARE OFF TO MEDIAS WHO BOLDLY REPORT THE TRUTH, THE SO CALLED INTER RELIGION LEADERS COULD LEARN A THING OR TWO FROM THE MASS MEDIAS ABOUT CALLING A SPADE, by its appropriate name “A SPADE”.

    Reply

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