A Study of Framing of Development Issues in the Ethiopian Television

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Addis Ababa University


Rural development has become a central development agenda since the past few decades in Ethiopia as the majority of the people in the country live in rural areas. Currently, the economy of the country is revealing progress, yet the poverty situation is all-embracing both in rural and urban areas, demanding further efforts. With the purpose of reducing & in tum eradicating the prevai ling poverty, differe nt development initiatives have been devised and are being implemented. Media as a tool for development can contribute for the attainment of these deve lopment ini tiatives by creating awareness and improving participation of the main actors & stakeholders. The purpose of this study was to examine how the Ethiopian television Amharic news framed rural development issues during the period of six months from July I-December 30/20 II.The extent of the coverage, salience/priority offered and sources used in the news were examined. Framing theory was mainly used as a theoretical framework for the study. The study applied both quantitative and qualitative methods. Content analysis of the news collected by systematic random sampling technique over the period under consideration was the principal method used. In-depth interviews with journalists involved in framing of rural development news considered were also used to support the content analysis. The findings of the study revealed that successes/achievements and effective functioning of rural development activities were dominantly focused themes where fai lures or weak sides were overlooked. Economic and prognostic frames were the most frequently employed frames in the news. The human interest frame, which is expected to be demanded and shared by the people according to earlier research findings, was least employed. The news dominantly attributed government sources over other sources. Though community members are considered as the main actors or key agents of rural development the extent to which they were used was not as would be. Adequate coverage was given. to rural development issues so far as the time allocation and placement of the stories in the news hours were considered. Journalists' framing of news was found to be influenced by the editorial policy and political orientation of the media towards government ideology and news sources in their attempt to get favorable publicity.



Development Issues, Ethiopian Television