The Practices and Challenges of Environmental Issues Coverage in State Broad Cast Media: Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) in Focus

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Addis Ababa University


This research attempts to examine the practices and challenges of environmental coverage in the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC). Specifically, the study explores the extent of coverage of environmental issues in EBC‘s news and programmes. It also looks into the frames within which environmental news and programs are often positioned in the corporation`s practices of environmental journalism. The research also identifies major sources of information for EBC‘s environmental news and programmes as well as challenges related to covering environmental issues at EBC. Development journalism as a model whereas social responsibility and framing were used as theoretical frameworks for the research. Methodologically, both qualitative and quantitative methods of research have been employed in this study. Qualitatively, practices and challenges of environmental coverage in EBC have been examined through in-depth interviews with environmental journalists in the Corporation. In addition, content analysis of environmental news and programmes to determine the volume of coverage environmental issues. Findings generally indicated that EBC has given inadequate coverage to environmental issues in its news packages and programmes. Its environmental journalists have also lacked professional training in environmental journalism although they have various levels of journalism training. This seems to have limited their potential for vibrant engagement in environmental reporting and program production. Moreover, EBC‘s claim to pursue ‗development journalism‘ lacks the incorporation of critical reporting to promote development endeavours in the country. As a result, EBC‘s news stories and programmes on environmental issues are often put within a positive frame highlighting progress with problems regarding the environment getting an insignificant focus. The limited sources of information to access environmental news, mainly events, meetings, campaigns, etc., appear to have undermined the opportunities for journalists to engage in comprehensive reporting and programming practices through consulting more critical sources. For better addressing of environmental issues, EBC needs not only to increase its coverage of environmental issues but it should also discharge its social responsibility through critical journalism that enables environmental journalists to engage in critical reporting to reveal environmental concerns of huge social significance.



Environmental Issues