Environmental Issues Coverage in the Ethiopian State Media: The Case of Ethiopian Radio and Addis Zemen Newspaper

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Addis Ababa University


The main aim of this study was to investigate the news coverage of environmental issues in the Ethiopian state media. Agenda setting and framing were employed as theoretical frameworks of the study. By taking a six month data, the study was conducted on two selected major state media outlets of the nation, namely the Ethiopian Radio of EBC and Addis Zemen Newspaper. Data used for the study was extracted from a total of 90 sample news editions (45 from each media outlet). The news editions were selected by using quota and drawing sampling techniques. Both content analysis and in-depth interview methods have also been employed in the study. Content analysis was made on sample news editions to gather quantitative data with reference to the amount and quality of environmental coverage by the media studied. In addition, in-depth interviews were made with editors and journalists who were frequently assigned to cover environmental issues so as to gather qualitative data used to back the results found via the quantitative content analysis method. The study revealed that environmental news stories were not given priority in the daily news agenda of both media outlets studied. Ethiopian Radio was found to give more coverage to foreign environmental stories than to those domestic ones. In this regard, almost all of environmental news stories of Addis Zemen Newspaper were found to be dealing with domestic ones. Government officials were the dominant source of the news stories of the media studied. Most of the environmental stories of the studied media were event oriented. The capacity and resources news frame was found to be dominant being applied in most of the environmental stories of the media studied. The Political frame was the second dominant news frame used. But, a difference was observed between the two media in making use of the economic frame. This frame was the second dominant frame used in many of environment stories of the Ethiopian Radio. Based on these findings, some pertinent recommendations have been made.



the Ethiopian State Media