Content Analysis of Coverage of Traffic Accident News: EBC in Focus

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Addis Ababa University


Traffic accident has increasingly become the recurrent problem in Ethiopia where thousands of people are being killed and properties amounting to multimillion birr are destroyed every year which lead to socio-economic crises of the citizens. Media, particularly state media such as EBC have the responsibility to play a vital role in overcoming this prevailing crisis. In this study, the role EBC played in terms of road traffic accident between 1st September 2017 & February 28, 2018. This research attempts to examine the role of Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC)in combating traffic accident in Ethiopian. Specifically, the study explored the extent of coverage of road traffic accident in EBC‘s Amharic news. The study was conducted in content analysis procedure using coding sheet. EBC was purposively selected as a subject of the study. The combination of qualitative and quantitative methods were used as principal instruments of data collection.. In the study of the 6 mouth news672were actual192 news were selected and analyzed. In addition, in depth interview was conducted with reporters and editors who were purposely selected from EBC. Moreover, traffic Polices and Transport Officers were also interviewed. The result obtained both in analyzing the news and interviews demonstrated that emphasis given to traffic related accident by EBC is very minimum. For example out of 192 head line news only 17 were mentioned about traffic accident which is 8.9%. in depth interview made with different stakeholders also demonstrated that traffic accident issues get less attention by EBC. As per the content analysis and interviews, the extent of EBC road traffic accident converge was poor which cannot minimize the ever increasing road traffic accidents in Addis Ababa in particular and Ethiopia in general. Even from the least number of news broadcasted only few of them were broadcasted in the headlines and 8(47.1%) news were in the category of missing which demonstrate the less attention given by EBC in broadcasting the issues of road traffic accident. Relatively, more information was obtained from transport office and human resource on driving license. From all the accidents, fatal death was dominant as the incident was eight(47.1%) out of 17 cases. The duration taken for broadcasting road traffic accident news was relatively good as 8(47.1%) cases were broadcasted in 181-240 seconds which is said to be longer in terms of time allotted for broadcasting incidents. The frames were more thematic 12(70.5% cases which looks good in providing information to the public. Cause of more accidents was drink and driving which looks dangerous as a number of cars entering into the traffic system both from abroad and in the country. The source of more incidents was police inspector which in the researcher opinion should be improved such that all stakeholders need to have comparable responsibilities to report road traffic accidents.