The Professional Orientation of Journalists in Ethiopia: Survey of their Self-Perception

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Addis Ababa University


Scholars addressed the career environment in which journalists worked, delineating how journalists perceived their identities through values, ethics, roles and socialization patterns. The main aim of this study was to survey the socio-demographic background of journalists and the professional orientation of Ethiopian journalists who work in news media of general interest based in Addis Ababa. Data were collected through questionnaires that were designed, translated into Amharic, tested and distributed to 100 journalists working in private as well as government media. In addition, in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 key informants who were purposely selected as representing the population. Analysis of data was made by SPSS using descriptive, mean procedure with eta and eta squared measure of association. The descriptive and mean procedure showed that Ethiopian journalists valued the multi-role of the media, showed respect for ethical values of journalism. Ethiopian journalists more valued the professional aspects of their job than the material aspects and the image toward their audience hung around a favorable image, unlike the assumptions by some scholars that journalists perceived their audience as ‘narrow–minded’. The mean procedure depicted, while government journalists gave more value for development role, private journalists gave more value to the adversarial role of the mass media. Unlike their counterparts in the west journalists in Ethiopia gave greater value for journalism education and they had deep interest for the importance of accrediting journalism courses and licensing the career and the professionals. The typical Ethiopian journalist in mid 2006 was male, educated, married and worked for government media. Based on these findings, the researcher prefers to inspire other studies hoping this document give a benchmark for later studies.



Journalists in Ethiopia