Global Media Coverage of the War between Federal Government and Tigray Armed Forces: The Case of BBC and Reuters

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Addis Ababa University


The news of the conflict between the Tigray People‟s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Ethiopia‟s federal government has got massive attention from the local and global media outlets. Several hundreds or even thousands of people are believed to have been killed in this conflict. We have observed significant amount of differences in the ways followed by various media outlets in reporting the conflict. This study was explored how some of the globally renowned media outlets have covered the conflict by taking Reuters and BBC as a case study. The study was conducted by taking media framing and priming as theoretical frameworks. In doing so, relevant data for the study was gathered by examining one month news stories produced by the two global media outlets from November 4 2020 (actual commencement of the conflict) up to December 3 2020 i.e. the week Ethiopia‟s government disclosed the end of law enforcement operation in Tigray. This study had employed an exploratory sequential mixed method as a research design. Sixty purposively selected news stories from both media were analyzed and interpreted to examine types of news frames and news sources used while reporting such issues. The findings of this study showed the media employed various types of news frames to treat their interest. While BBC focused on broadcasting the government actions based on military action frames. In other hand Reuters framing stressed on TPLF war advancement and attribution of responsibility frames. This study determines that both media organizations employed several framing technics that would harm the coexistence of people and puts endorsements on how to improve the gaps. In conclusion, both media narratives are focused on TPLF military activities and western world interest.



The Case of BBC and Reuters