Following Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed's call for synergy, reconciliation and a promise for a new era of ethnic unity, democracy and freedom of speech, several positive vibrations have been ignited by all Ethiopians from all walks of life. All have their eyes on the promises of the prime minister in the hope of a better Ethiopia with a better future.
The year has generally undergone many changes. It has observed that political prisoners and activists are liberated, making peace with opposition parties, an invitation to foreign opposition leaders and media, as well as all Ethiopians around the world to support reform and their share of the country's overall development. to carry.
Similarly, dramatic changes in the media landscape have swung. Issues such as human rights violations and the latest news receive enormous coverage.
After that, many Diaspora-based media such as the Ethiopian satellite television (ESAT) and the Oromo Media Network (OMN) and other new media from known activists under trial to get a license and work in the country.
In addition to his important role (informing, educating and entertaining), the media, as the fourth state and a voice for the voiceless and a watchdog, are a powerful tool for creating lively citizens who think critically, reason and make sensible decisions; instead of being guided by opinions and emotions.
With regard to the opening of these media, this writer tried to assess the impact and the roles they could play in the social, economic and political arena of the country.
The opening of these media in the country allows people to have alternative sources of information and cherish diversified ideas and perspectives, as there were no such media to feed their desire for information. Moreover, it would promote press freedom, said Kefeleyohannes Anberber, a journalist at the Ethiopian Press Agency
However, these media have their own shortcomings as their sales outlets are not inclusive; he said referring to them [ESAT and OMN] previous pieces.
"Most Diasporas media organizations are run by opposition parties and they only entertain anti-government and especially ethnic-based rhetoric," he added.
These media, while operating in the country, must change their format and broadcast issues with a common purpose to achieve positive results. They must change their reach and work for all people to address the general complaints of the public, regardless of political or ethnic background, he added.
Another journalist who does not want to be mentioned by his name said that such outside media are known for giving a bleak picture of what is happening in the country.
"Most of their functions are based on opinions and rumors that lack reliable sources and violate professional reporting."
"This would unmistakably excite the public for revolt and if they continue like this, it is dangerous for the synergy and the unity movement of the present nation.
There is still room for improvement if they really work for the public's interest and common goals, he suggested
"They have to come up with different voices and only serve the audience. They also need to promote a good understanding of the appreciation of ethnic linguistic cultural and historical differences and build harmony among the public," he added.
Director Director Ethiopian Broadcast Authority, Gebregiorgis Abraha, said that the Diaspora-based media has not received permission so far; but some have opened their offices and are working to operate in the country. "Most of these media properties are non-Ethiopian citizens or diasporas and to get the license they have to comply with the set requirements and procedure.
According to Gebregiorgis, almost 12 private radio stations are currently active in the country. In addition, three are working to get the licenses. In the same way, seven satellites, six terrestrial and nine private television stations are currently broadcasting their programs. 15 television stations are also in the licensing process.
Similarly, while there are 400 community radios, the number of private newspapers and magazines reaches between 11 and 10.
Under the assertion that in previous years no law or regulation existed for online media, Gebregiorgis said that online media that control online use of nations is being drafted.
"Online media needs research and there are investigations underway by stakeholders to create a platform to assess the content of the online media to prevent annoying messages and destructive actions of some anti-peace elements," adds Gebregiorgis.
As is well known, the country had two decades ago only one television and two radio stations (one only for educational broadcasts), four newspapers and two magazines. On the contrary, two decades after the country's media have made remarkable progress and provide various print and electronic outlets for its population, he noted.
In relation to the number of media, both electronic and printed, Kefleyohannes said that the media that operate across the country are not sufficient for a country with 100 million people. The media also do not work as they should because of various factors.
"For example, most of them are that the government or private are divided into ethnic interests and other agendas." State media send or publish biased and ethnically based information and other influences instead of promoting unity. "
According to him, ignorance about and not exercising their own editorial policy is the first problem. "So, I suggest the need to review their content and strive for social responsibility to create a healthy citizen who appreciates and appreciates ethnic, linguistic, cultural and historical differences," he added.