Urgent press release to all media
Press release from Ethiopia Media Council
(February 7, 2023: Addis Ababa) The Ethiopian Media Council is an institution that works to develop media in our country to serves the people with a sense of responsibility. EMC embracing more than 60 public, private, community media and journalists’ professional associations as members. It is moving to implement a mutual control system the first time in the country.
Recently, we have realized that the reports that some media outlets are spreading regarding the internal problems of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church are not only deviating from the actual reality, but also contradicting the correct journalistic ethics. In particular, we have observed that some religious media and social media actors, instead of teaching their own religious perching’s and spiritual messages, they are spreading terrorizes and threatens message to the people, and they are attracted by the tendency to launch civil conflict.
As clearly stated in article 70 sub-paragraph 2 of media decree 1238/13, it is stipulated that it is not allowed for any religious program to incite conflict between religious followers, undermine the religion or belief of others, or incite intolerance among religious followers. It should be conducted with great care and responsibility and high journalistic ethics.
In particular, religious broadcasters who have registered with the Ethiopian mass media authority have the right to carry out their religious teachings, prayer programs, social issues, develop morals and education, create an environment where they can freely carry out their religious activities and be accessible to their followers, but denigrate the teachings and pillars of faith of other religions. Those that undermine the values of tolerance and coexistence of citizens. They should not invite violence and conflict and incite physical violence against individuals and communities.
Therefore, the society is expected a lot of things from the media experts and institutions, so that the religious information disseminated by the mass media among the people who have lived with them for centuries is free from hateful speeches and agitations, and they should work in accordance with the code of conduct of EMC, to awaken the preachers and the followers of the religion to be careful. Moreover, media and journalists should stand together for better national peace building after learning from our past problems.
Finally, we say that the government should fulfill its constitutional duty responsibly to ensure the rule of law, as conflicts based on religion can lead to endless violence.
Executive Committee of the Ethiopian Media Council
February 7, 2023, Addis Ababa: Ethiopia