Press release for all.
(June 8, 2023, Addis Ababa) The Ethiopian Media Council works to develop our media that serves the public with a sense of responsibility and ethics. An institution that is implementing a mutual control system by embracing public, commercial, community media, internet media and professional associations of journalists as members.
Our council is closely monitoring the work being done through the Ethiopian National dialogue Commission. We believe that the issues that cause of death, displacement and destruction of property will be resolved through public discussion and consultation. For the past two years, the commission has been organizing itself and doing necessary preparatory work for the consultation, and we understand that it is currently entering the process of selecting participants.
Although the commission has held discussions with different sections of society at various times, instead of inviting media experts as an institution, we believe that it is a big shortcoming that they only invite media to provide news coverage when they discuss.
It is believed that one of the criteria for measuring the credibility and effectiveness of the National dialogue Commission is the evaluation process and implementation of the participants. When citizens are made to participate in the national consultation process either by representation or directly, it helps to ensure the participation and inclusiveness of the consultation process.
However, when the Ethiopian National dialogue Commission conducts the meeting of participants, the main stakeholders of the consultation process, We believe that while taking into account the , the Council of Political Parties ,assembly of Religious Institutions as well as many other civic associations, forgetting the Council representing journalists’ professional associations and media institutions is against the basic principle of inclusiveness. Therefore, we say that a consultation process that excludes media experts has little chance of being effective, so the process should be reconsidered.
In connection with the fact that the national consultation is the first in the history of our country, the council is preparing research-based guidline about the ethics that should be followed when the process is broadcast to the public through the media (including live broadcasts). We ask that the process also take into consideration the input of the media experts so that it can be properly reflected.
Finally, this year’s World Press Freedom Day, which was recently celebrated, is ‘Shaping the Rights of the Future; Freedom of speech is the driving force for all other human rights’ and we would like to point out that encouraging citizens to express their opinions freely in such national consultation forums is to highlight the irreplaceable role of the media in the respect of all other human rights that have been legally recognized at the international level.
Executive Committee of the Ethiopian Media Council
June 8, 2023, Addis Ababa