A critical analysis of Ethiopian broadcasting media regulation 1991–2007

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Addis Ababa University


This research attempts to look into what practical changes the broadcasting media in Ethiopia have experienced in light of media regulation policies, and if the intended changes have not taken place, attempts to point to reasons. The period after the coming into power of EPRDF (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front), 1991, marked a change in Ethiopian media politics. Of the reforms EPRDF made was liberalizing the media through granting different freedoms. This was done through various laws and policies. The 1992 press law that gave citizens the freedom to exercise freedom of expression through private print media, the 1999 broadcast proclamation, the 2003 press law and the newly endorsed broadcast proclamation of the year 2007 are the major policies introduced with regard to the media. The 1995 Ethiopian Constitution also is a monumental document for reinforcing freedom of expression in Ethiopia. Article 29 of the Constitution confirms that all citizens have the right to “seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in prints in the form of art, or through any idea of his/her choice” (FDRE Constitution, Art 29). After eight years of the endorsement of the first Broadcast Proclamation in 1999, which further affirms the full grant of the right to own a private broadcasting station, there is no private television station, and radio stations are still under the control of the control of the government in one way or another. Why are the broadcast media regulated severely while full freedom of expression is granted on other arenas? Data for the study was acquired from documents and personal interviews with actors in the media industry. The conclusion of the research include: private broadcasters and licensees do not work together; the new broadcasting regulation policy gives broadcasters a chance to appeal and imprisonment is excluded from the punitive articles.



Ethiopian broadcasting media