ESAT was declared as a public media in May 2021 with Andargachew Tsige, former Ginbot 7 leader, as Director. ESAT International is yet to announce Director
The Ethiopian Satellite Television Journalists, technical support, and admin staff on Wednesday announced that they split with ESAT and disclosed the formation of ESAT International.
Fasil Yenealem, Messay Mekonnen, Petros Ashenafi, Sisay Agena, and Wondmagegne Gashu – among others – have announced that they are now working as ESAT International. Some are based in the U.S. and some are based in Europe.
Before Abiy Ahmed took power as Prime Minister – a political phenomenon which came to be dubbed as “change” as it was seen as a landmark to the end of TPLF domination in central government.
ESAT describes its time since its establishment in 2010 to 2018 as a time during which it was committed to a sort of advocacy journalist in light of media repression in Ethiopia under the TPLF rule. And it was mostly funded by contributions from Ethiopians and fundraising campaigns.
That did not continue after 2018 and ESAT was experiencing financial challenges to cover expenses, including salaries of journalists. It was something that triggered a change in the purpose and operation of ESAT.
In recent months, ESAT was increasingly criticised over what many Ethiopian observers who are opposing Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration say was indifference to atrocities against innocent civilians and policies that harm the core interests of Ethiopia as a country.
ESAT International still seeks to reach out to audiences in Ethiopia, and Balageru TV has reportedly offered weekly airtime until ESAT International organises its own Satellite rental for which a fund is needed. Perhaps ESAT is returning back to its advocacy journalism once again.
It has also announced that it will continue to use Youtube channels.
Why do ESAT International part ways with ESAT, and what exactly happened?
ESAT Eletawi produced a program to address those questions. Watch it below
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