This page features research and learning from the PRIMED programme's activities in Ethiopia.


In Ethiopia, PRIMED supports efforts to establish a new public interest media tradition in a country that has been witnessing a democratic transition but remains fractured along political, economic and ethnic lines.

PRIMED is helping to build technical expertise, professional editorial standards, and stronger institutional and financial foundations to help develop existing media partners into public-interest models.

The Media Viability Workshop Diverse perspectives from media organisations in Ethiopia. The discussed themes are: organisational resilience, monetisation of credible content, the diversifying of audiences, and the restructuring of the marketing and sales departments. The panel included interventions from Arqaw Ashine, Managing Editor and Founder of Wazema Radio, Abel Wabella, Managing Director of Addis Zeybe, Michael Girma, Business Development Manager at Addis Maleda, and Dula Tessema, CEO of ARTS TV, among others.

International Media Support - p80

Ethiopia: New freedoms to be consolidated

World Press Freedom Index: 99/180†

Ethiopia is not coloured red on the World Press Freedom Index map for the first time since the five-colour designation was adopted in 2013. As soon as he became prime minister in 2018, Ahmed Ali released numerous detained journalists and bloggers. In 2019, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Ethiopia’s new authorities have restored access to more than 200 news websites and blogs that had been blocked for years, and Ethiopian TV stations abroad now work freely. However, this initial progress has not been institutionalized and journalists worry that the winds of freedom might be just a passing breeze. Draconian press legislation – including the 2009 terrorism law widely used to detain journalists – has still not been amended. On the contrary, Ethiopia’s repressive arsenal of rules and regulations has been reinforced by a law on hate speech and disinformation adopted in early 2020 during a wave of intercommunal violence. This law stipulates heavy fines and prison sentences and is worded ambiguously to allow maximum leeway of interpretation. The intimidation and brief arrests of journalists, plus several Internet cuts, have only boosted concern about a return to the repressions of the past. One military general has threatened reprisals against media outlets that “tarnish the reputation of the armed forces”.


BBC Media Action Ethiopia - MIHRET ASCHALEW

BBC Media Action Ethiopia Audience Survey (2020)

BBC Media Action Ethiopia has conducted an audience survey to understand media usage and perceptions of media to inform the development of project activities and support partners to understand their audience better. 2,000 interviews were conducted in March 2020, in 5 regions of the country (Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, SNNP, Addis Ababa).

This report available for download below is an account of the major findings of the survey.


Center for International Media Assistance - YOHANNES ENEYEW AYALEW

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