On 27 August 2021, top management members of Ethiopian Media Council visited the Coalition of Ethiopian Civil Society Organizations for Election – CECOE Media Monitoring Unit (MMU). The visiting delegation was composed of well-known media executives, inter alia, such as Amare Aregawi, founder and owner of the leading Ethiopian private newspaper ‘The Reporter’; Tamirat Hailu the founder and managing editor of Kumneger Media. The purpose of the visit was to forge a partnership whereby the two organizations share expertise and resources.
CECOE strongly believes that the media is one of the cornerstones of a solid democratic system. Taking this into account, CECOE’s MMU has been monitoring and analyzing election related media coverage of 7 selected media outlets. The selection was made based on their reach, legal status and linguistic diversity.
Public Televisions: ETV + ETV languages (only from 2 to 4 pm), Amhara Media C and OBN TV.
Private Televisions: Fana BC, Walta and OBS
The unit was set up with financial and technical support from European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), one of CECOE’s key partners. With its 9 seasoned media professionals, the unit has been monitoring election media reports in 5 languages. During the election and post-election periods, the unit monitored hate speech or inflammatory language – either reported on or originating from the media themselves – to assess whether the media acted as agents of pacification or rather contributed to increase any potential tensions related to the elections. In order to understand and interpret the performance of the media, the monitors also observed the use of social media by political actors during the campaign.
During the visit the council’s representatives had a fruitful discussion with CECOE and ECES representatives on ways of capacitating media professionals in the areas of election reporting, good governance and media monitoring. Thus, an agreement was reached to organize a series of training and experience sharing forums.