News Coverage of Regions in Ethiopia: The Case of Etv Amharic Broadcast

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Addis Ababa University


The aim of this research was to study the news coverage of regions on ETV Amharic broadcast. More precisely, it was to test the hypothesis set. It was hypothesized at the outset of the study that the news coverage of regions on the evening (8pm) Amharic broadcast is not proportional. The study constituted both quantitative and qualitative data obtained using content analysis and self-completion questionnaires. The greater part of the quantitative data was gathered using content analysis. For one month, from April 1 to 30, 2006, the main evening (8pm) Amharic newscast was recorded on video. The sample consisted of a total of 504 domestic news stories. Of the total, the study focused on 457 (90.67%) news items that referred to regions. The news items were later coded vis-à-vis each region using coding frames such as number of stories, airtime, content category, tone, priority and story producer. The findings of the content analysis have shown regional imbalances in news coverage on the evening (8pm) Amharic broadcast. In other words, the findings conformed to the initial expectation of the researcher. Addis Ababa, SNNP, Amhara. Oromia and Tigray dominated the news scene during the sample time. The findings imply that the television station and the news agencies- ENA and Walta favored these regions. In contrast, the findings bear out the witness that Afar, Somali, Benishangul/Gumuz, Dire Dawa, Harari and Gambella received little news coverage. Accordingly, they were not frequently on the news agenda or their stories were not as such available. The content analysis has also revealed that the disparity between the highest and the lowest number of stories that referred to regions is so wide. While Addis Ababa received 143 (31.29%) news stories, only two, which constituted less than one percent, referred to Gambella. In its questionnaires, the study also focused on Ethiopian Television, Walta and ENA, which may be responsible for the production of news and type of coverage. Two sets of questionnaires were designed. While one set was distributed to all the five Editorial Board Members of ETV, the other was filled in by twelve editors and chief-editors, identified based on purposive sampling, of ENA and Walta. The data obtained, which were more of qualitative, provided a background to interpreting how a few regions have come to dominate the news scene. In sum, the study has suggested some recommendations to how regions get proportional and comprehensive news coverage on ETV Amharic broadcast.



Regions in Ethiopia