After graduating in journalism and communication from Unity University, he became a columnist in Ethiopian newspapers on socio-political issues. He later worked at Habesha Journal magazine, a bilingual health journal. In 2004 Dawit founded and became editor-in-chief of Hadar Newspaper, which has been critical of the policies of Prime Minister Zenawi's government.
2005 election controversy
During the 2005 Ethiopian general election, Dawit criticized the Ethiopian government by writing articles and editorials suggesting that the EPRDF might have lost the election. In June 2005 police opened gunfire in Addis Ababa against protesters, massacring numerous unarmed opposition supporters. Dawit condemned these actions.
In November 2005 authorities arrested him with senior leaders of the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy for alleged involvement in the demonstrations. All were charged with treason, genocide, and attempts to subvert the constitution, and though the court sentenced the prisoners to life in prison they were pardoned and freed in July 2007. Though many of the editors in jail with Dawit have gone into exile.
He established a new company in March 2008 and began publishing the Awramba Times newspaper, of which he is Managing Editor. Currently Awramba Times is the second largest Ethiopian newspaper and the country’s only newspaper that questions state authorities according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
- Cooper, Ann. "CPJ letter to Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
- "Dawit Kebede, Ethiopia 2010 CPJ International Press Freedom Awardee". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 20 October 2010.