Press Coverage of The Post May 2005 Election Protests in Ethiopia: Media Ownership Impact on News Objectivity

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Addis Ababa University


The main purpose of the current study was to analyze and examine whether the news coverage of the post May 2005 election protests in Ethiopia were objective or not in presentation. Particularly, this study aimed at assessing how media ownership affected the type of media content that the public received. Three newspapers from the Ethiopian print media were selected as sources of data. The newspapers were selected based on purposive sampling technique. Content analysis was the principal research method employed to analyze the news. To substantiate the findings from the content analysis interviews were administered with two willing editors: one from the private and one from the government media were conducted. One month and a week period were selected for news analysis. The first time frame extended to one-month period from June 8 - July7, 2005. This was the period staring from the first largest protest. The second time frame was a one-week period that extended from November 1 -November 7, 2005. This time frame was a one-week period starting from the second largest protest. To find out how objective the newspapers were, any existence of bias in the news was investigated. Lack of balance, fairness and neutrality were considered when investigating biasness in the news. Five coding categories were used to find out how balanced, fair and neutral the stories including story sources, story tone, story frame, story placement, and headline tone. Upon the completion of coding, the data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). The findings of this study revealed that the selected newspapers were biased either in favor of or against actors. The findings of study revealed that the newspapers were not objective while covering the post May 2005 election protest. And this was highly attributed by the difference in the type of ownership.



Election Protests in Ethiopia