Media in Ethiopia

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The mass media in Ethiopia consist of radio and television, which remain under the control of the Ethiopian government, as well as private newspapers and magazines. In comparison to the length of Ethiopia's over-2,000-year history as a sovereign nation, the media is a very recent phenomenon.

Ten radio broadcast stations, eight AM and two shortwave, are licensed to operate in Ethiopia. The major radio broadcasting stations include Radio Ethiopia, Radio Fana (or "Torch") a private station, Radio Voice of One Free Ethiopia, and the Voice of the Revolution of Tigray. The single television broadcast network is Ethiopian Television, with 24 hours of broadcast and three regional stations, namely Addis TV, TV Oromiyaa (with two live studios), and Dire TV. In keeping with government policy, radio broadcasts occur in a variety of languages.[1]

Print media, because of high poverty levels, low literacy rates, and poor distribution outside of the capital, serve only a small portion of the population. The paucity of distribution is mirrored by a scarcity of diversity in the official press.[1] Since the end of the Ethiopian Civil War private newspapers and magazines have started to appear, and this sector of the media market, despite heavy-handed regulation from the government and the ups and downs of Ethiopia's economy, continues to grow.[citation needed] Despite increasing pressure from the current government at home, the much more affluent and cosmopolitan Ethiopian diaspora abroad has helped further the cause for a free press in Ethiopia, and has also catered to its many extranational communities with news services (both online and off) in both Amharic and English.

When the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) came to power in 1991, one of their first acts was to give the Ethiopian media far more freedoms than it had previously experienced, ending the censorship that had prevailed for decades under both the Derg and the imperial regime, these rights have since been reneged gradually, in particular since the elections in 2005. Despite this liberalization, the relationship between the EPRDF and the private press has been one of deep mistrust. Clampdowns on the private press occurred regularly in the 1990s, with the arrest of dozens of journalists who were accused of publishing false information, or violating other provisions of the 1992 press law. This law allowed government authorities to detain journalists without charge. According to Human Rights Watch, the high point of freedom for Ethiopian media was in the period leading up to the 2005 elections. Following the controversial election, when there were many instances of disproportionate violence by authorities, many journalists were arrested, alongside members of opposition parties, and tried for "outrages against the constitution" and other crimes, a number of them in absentia. Fines were also imposed on Ethiopian publishing houses.[2]

List of press agencies and printed newspapers[edit]

List of online news services[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ethiopia country profile. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (April 2005). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ "One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure", p. 49. Human Rights Watch report, released 10 March 2010
  3. ^ "Ethiopia: News and Media". Open Directory Project. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 

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