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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1897

Title: Self-regulation of the private press in Ethiopia: prospects and challenges
Authors: Gudeta, Seifu
Advisors: Terje Skjerdal
Yacob Arsano
Copyright: 2008
Date Added: 10-Jan-2009
Publisher: Addis Ababa University
Abstract: The research has attempted to study the practices of self-regulation among the Ethiopian private presses with a view to apprehend the prospects and challenges of institutionalizing vibrant and functional self-regulatory bodies in the press industry. In Ethiopia the press has been liberalized since the downfall of the socialist military government in 1991. The FDRE constitution and the subsequent press proclamation has provided recognition to the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press which in turn contributed to the proliferation of the private press. However, the private as well as the government press were not functioning in line with recognized journalistic standards. There was a north-south dichotomy in the press. Some of the private presses were serving as a mouthpiece for certain opposition political parties while others were highly affiliated with the incumbent government. Still others were established to promote parochial ethnic politics. The government press was also serving as a conduit to the government propaganda. Consequently, journalistic ethics and self-regulation were highly disregarded. The researcher has employed a qualitative methodology to conduct the research. Indepth interviews are conducted with journalists, editor-in-chiefs, owners and representatives of media professional associations to apprehend the prospects and challenges of institutionalizing self-regulatory frameworks in the country’s media industry. Beside this, the researcher has exhaustively explored pertinent Ethiopian media legislations in a bid to examine their conduciveness for exercising self-regulation. The finding of the research demonstrates that the practice of media self-regulation in Ethiopia is in its nascent stage. There are some media houses that have developed in10 house codes of conduct as ethical guidelines. However, only in very few media houses are the codes treated as an institutional ethical standard. In most cases self-regulation predicates upon the will, consent and cooperation of the press industry. However, in Ethiopia the private/government dichotomy and the chasm among the private presses make institutionalizing self-regulatory bodies very remote. There is also a substantial polarization among and within journalists’ associations in political lines. Some of the journalists’ associations are highly politically charged. Despite these, however, there are some promising movements among some private presses and the civil society to establish an independent self-regulatory body.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1897
Appears in:Thesis - Journalism and Communication

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