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Regional media organizations in Ethiopia discuss the ultimatums of media regulatory reforms with the Ethiopian Media Authority (EMA). Five regional media organizations from Amhara, Oromia, South, Benshangul and Harari were in attendance for a media roundtable discussion organized by Editors Guild of Ethiopia (EGE) in collaboration with IMS/PRIMED on July 1st 2023 at Jupiter International Hotel in Addis Ababa.

During the morning session of the media roundtable, Abiyu Mekonnen, Public Media Regulation and Capacity Building Director at EMA, highlights the relevance of the platform in backing the efforts of the regulatory body to executing its responsibilities effectively. He said, “When there are problems in one region, another regional media portrays it as if it is happening in another country or as if they don’t seem working for the same country and people”.

Abdissa Zerai (PhD), a professor of journalism at Addis Ababa University School of Journalism, stated quoting a study conducted by himself that shows the regulatory limitations of the EMA concerning regional media houses are existent due to the fact that regional media houses are established by proclamations issued by regional councils.

Deputy chief executive officers representing Amahara Media Corporation (AMCO), Oromia Broadcast Network (OBN) and South Radio and Television Agency reflected on the matter and underline for a collaboration in broadcasting news concerning matters of other regions.

Deressa Terrefe, Head of the Director’s office at EMA spoke on improvements in the media space since the legal and policy reform in the country in 2021. The reform, according to Deressa, has enhanced the number and diversity in language use of media houses in Ethiopia reaching more than 60 local languages currently being used in the media. However, he also noted that the 1238/2021 Proclamation has been considered a slack by EMA that gives little emphasis to responsibility of media houses but focuses on rights and freedom of the press.