Private and public media houses established the first ever Media Council on Tuesday January 12, 2015. The Media Council, in the making over the past decade, hopes to serve as a self- regulatory body for media practitioners in Ethiopia. The Media Council will be an independent national institution established to regulate the conduct and discipline of journalists in Ethiopia. According to the Media Council’s regulation document, it has become important for media houses to establish the new institution so as to self- regulate their activities. Many hope it will minimize widespread and often constant government involvement in the media environment.
“Partnership, not confrontation, within media houses is important,” Getachew Reda, Minister of Government Communications Affairs Office said during the opening session. “A flourishing and responsible media is important in pinpointing the weakness of the government. We continue to support you” he added.
Print and Broadcast media houses along with online publications they produce are made eligible to be part of the Media Council, whereas online-based media outlets are left out. Various speakers reiterated that the ever-changing nature of online media and lack of accountability has made it difficult to incorporate online media part of the Council.
The Media Council concluded its meeting on Tuesday afternoon by electing Amare Aregawi, Chairman of Wabi Newspaper Publishers Association, as Chairman of the new Council.