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Ethiopian Media Council in need of counseling

By Hindessa Abdul
The much talked about Ethiopian Media Council has been established by the all too familiar faces. The organizers claim that it has taken them a decade to achieve their objective. While it is not that undesirable to have the council, neither is it something that the country’s press is particularly dying for.The most important issue being creating a media environment where all voices can be heard without fear or intimidation.
No one denies that a genuine media council would have helped journalists to be monitored and regulated by their own peers rather than by overzealous law enforcement officials, as is the case in the country. Alas, the newly formed assembly doesn’t give much hope for optimism either.
media council ethiopia
To begin with, the person who wants to go down in history as the founder of the Council has been instrumental in abetting the witch hunt of journalists by the government.Their weekly program “Kib Terebeza” (Round table) is all about vilifying critical voices whether in the media or in politics. Even on the eve of the gathering, the show was on all out war against a known opposition leader Yilkal Getnet. The other founding members are either supporters or operatives of the ruling party, making it hard for them to be viewed impartial in the eyes of the public, much less by fellow journalists.
Even without those paradoxes, the formation was mired in controversy. Most of the media in the country have boycotted it. Budging private newspapers, professional associations, civic society and other crucial elements were markedly absent. As to the online media, the Council was unequivocal in excluding them, though most of the participants’ media outfits maintain a steady web presence. That means, when and where the Council starts to work, it can only oversee the affairs of its member enterprises, most of which, by the way, are indistinguishable – Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), Zami FM, The Reporter, Ethio-Channel and like-minded flocks. And the source of its finances is barely ironed out. Lest we forget, who pays the piper calls the tune!
EBC’s solid presence was rather awkward,if not undesirable. An establishment notorious for its persistence in calling for arrests of journalists can hardly be proponent of media ethics. Its curiously titled series of Akeldama and Harakat were sowing fear among the private media. Unfortunately, about a half-dozen of the participants were related to EBC one way or the other. It begins with Getachew Reda who heads the board of the corporation.The others didn’t necessarily spoke for EBC. They masqueraded as representatives of various unions. And the deputy general manager was elected secretary of the Council. No wonder then the company rushed to air a piece entitled “New chapter for the media.”
If the gathering of a bunch of bewildered media hacks heralds the onset of a “new chapter,” then mass communication in the country has really hit rock bottom. Time to save it!
The writer can be reached at ab.media@yahoo.com

Read Aloud:   Zehabesha Daily Ethiopian News January 18, 2019

3 Comments

  1. There is more hope for a fool than for this Waco Getachew Reda!!!He has a big head with no screen and filter in it, Who opens his mouth to utter nothing but big and ugly words!! You are one of those who is educated beyond your ability!!For that matter the whole host of Weyanes (the curse of the nation) are one and the same! Either they have it all for themselves or destroy the whole nation. Their words do not mean anything! they are false from beginning to the end! Master lairs!! they don’t stumble for a moment when they lie!
    They are fierce and savages not out of bravery but because of fear that has engulfed them!! How nauseating must be for our people back home,upon whom they rode their chariots of hatred and poured out their fury this many years!
    The nation has reached to the soon breaking of every social fabric, unless intervened and stopped!!
    The Struggle is ragging! Weyanes now are face to face with their heinous crimes! Judgement is coming! A time is coming when God will wipe away the tears of every citizen! His timing is the right time!
    Victory for the oppressed mass! Ethiopia shall rise again!

  2. there are no journalists in Ethiopia who are openly working as journalists.
    . reading a prepared script does not amount to journalism. even a well trained parrot can do that.

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