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«Titel der Dissertation Ethics in Mind Ethiopian Journalism and Ethics Verfasser: Worke Hailemarkos Ayalew Angestrebter akademischer Titel Doktor der ...»

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DISSERTATION

Titel der Dissertation

Ethics in Mind

Ethiopian Journalism and Ethics

Verfasser:

Worke Hailemarkos Ayalew

Angestrebter akademischer Titel

Doktor der Philosophie (Dr. phil)

Wien, im 2011

Studienkennzahl lt. Studienblatt: A 092 301

Matrikelnummer: a0749672

Dissertationsgebiet lt. Studienblatt: Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaften Betreuer; Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas A. Bauer II To Fiori (Eminet Hailemarkos Ayalew), my cute Daughter For all the joy with which you fill my life… III IV

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to God for granting me the chance and the ability to successfully complete this study.

I wish to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor Prof. Thomas A. Bauer for his genuine support, valuable advice and sincere comments which helped me a lot to finish this study.

Professor, I thank you very much.

Special thanks to my wife Rahel Hagos, for her love, support and patience during the past three or so years it has taken me to graduate.

I am grateful for my friend Argaw Ashine whose support and encouragement made this work possible toward the end. Argaw, you are a real friend.

I am heartily thankful to Dr Tília Stingl de Vasconcelos Guedes who helped me in translating the

Abstract

into German and for making her support available.

I would like to thank my parents, Ayalew Worke and Tiruwork Nigusse and my sister Selamawit Ayalew and my brothers Habtamu Ayalew and Zemen Ayalew for their unending love and support. You all are so special to me. Thanks I would also like to thank the Afro Asiatic Institute in Vienna, Austria for its financial support without which it would have been impossible for me to finish my studies. I am grateful for that.

Lastly, I offer my regards and blessings to all of those who supported me in any respect during the completion of the project.

V VI Table of Contents Acknowledgments………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………V Table of Contents…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..VII ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Ethics Declaration

EIDESSTATTLICHE ERKLÄRUNG

Introduction

Historical background of the Ethiopian press

Statement of the problem

Theoretical Framework

Research Questions

General Objectives

Specific Objectives

Significance of the Study

Research Methodology

Population of the study and its setting

Chapter One

Review of Related Literature

Brief Description of the Mass Media

The Mass Media and its Effects

The Ethiopian Mass Media and its role in History Briefly

Media Ethics

Ethiopian Media and Ethics

Chapter Two

Theoretical Perspectives on Approaches to Media Ethics

The Kantians

The Consequentialists

Virtue Ethics

Afriethics

Chapter Three

Methodology

Introduction

Grounded Theory

The data

Analyses Procedure

Sampling

The in-depth interview

Survey

Content analyses

Chapter Four

The Political Environment

Introduction

Research Questions

Clarification of Terms

Methodology

Analyses Procedure

The Data and Collection Tools

Sampling

Ethiopia and Private Press

Ethiopia and Press Freedom

Journalists’ take on

Press Freedom and Human Rights Advocates Take On

What exactly is happening on Journalists and the private media?

Where is the Digital media in this context?

How Does it Impact Freedom of the Press?

Issues hardly covered at home

A battle to secure Freedom of expression and the Press

Mobilizing

Involving the Public

Key Feature of Ethiopian Online Journalism

Challenges of the online media

viii Conclusion

Chapter Five

Ethics and the Ethiopian Journalists

Findings and Analyses

Results from the Survey

Introduction

News Approaches and Universal Journalism Values

Seeking the Truth

News Approaches

Instruments to check on Ethics

Self Evaluation

Influential Factors on behavior

Factors with a Direct Impact on Ethical Journalism

Interview Findings

Journalism Conceptions

Universal Ethical Values

Seeking the truth and report it

Independence

Instruments to check on Ethics

Approaches to Ethics

Assessments of Ethical Performances

Influential Factors on Behavior and Professional Task

Findings from Ethical Dilemma Cases

Findings of the Case Investigations

Case One

Case Two

Case Three

Chapter Six

Discussion and Conclusion

Ethical Values and Principles

Approaches to Ethics

Self assessment of Ethical Performance

ix Factors Influencing Ethical Performances

Theoretical Implications

Practical Implication





Conclusion

Appendices

Survey Questionnaire and the Case Stories

Interview Protocol

BIBILIOGRAPHY

Abstract

ZUSAMMENFASSUNG

RESUME

Ethics Declaration

I declare that the enclosed work report is original research. All the sources that I used or quoted have been indicated and acknowledged by means of complete references. I further declare that I have not submitted the work or parts of the work for assessment or examination in any country of the world. The enclosed work is identical in form and content with the work assessed by the assessors.

EIDESSTATTLICHE ERKLÄRUNG

Ich, Worke Hailemarkos Ayalew, Matrikelnummer a0749672, erkläre hiermit an Eides statt, dass ich die vorliegende Arbeit selbständig verfasst habe. Die aus fremden Quellen direkt oder indirekt übernommenen Gedanken sind als solche gemäß den Richtlinien wissenschaftlicher Arbeiten zitiert und durch Fußnoten gekennzeichnet. Diese vorliegende Arbeit wurde bisher weder in gleicher noch in ähnlicher Form einer anderen Prüfungsbehörde vorgelegt und auch noch nicht veröffentlicht.

Wien, im November 2011 Worke Hailemarkos Ayalew x

Introduction

Historical background of the Ethiopian press The History of the Ethiopian mass media can be categorized in five different stages. The first stage is the time where Ethiopia began to experience modern form of information transmission as it is technically called the press. It was at the end of the 19th century that the first press products were observed in the country. Chronologically speaking the first fully Amharic, the official language of the nation, weekly paper was named AEMRO, which is literally to mean the mind.

However there was a hand written newspaper containing both Amharic and French, which was believed to be published before AEMRO, named Lesemaine d' Ethiopia.(Pankrest,1992). After these two publications till the outbreak of the Italian war in 1936 it was considered as a full boom period for the Ethiopian press. It was at this time that new printing equipments were imported from Europe. Fast developments of the press were also observed by both local and foreign languages. In 1936 broadcasting stations had also been established.

The second stage is where the country was in war with Italian forces. In this period the Italians banned Ethiopian press and replaced them by their own publications. However Ethiopian government officials and editors of the domestic publications who were forced to live in exile continued to publish newspapers that used to be distributed in the country through various hidden ways.

The third stage was the revival of the press after the Italian forces got defeated and left the country. During this time the government was fully involved in repairing destroyed publishing and broadcasting equipments in a short period of time. The following years witnessed a fast development of the press and the broadcast media. Television for the first time in the country‘s history was also introduced at this period. Unfortunately this was also the time (since 1940) where for the first time institutionalized form of control over the mass media was put in place.

The country‘s constitution and the penal and civil codes were made to include articles that limit the activities of the mass media in a way that would be serving the interest of the ruling class.

Even though there were both private and public presses in the country during this third stage of the mass media development, it was mainly characterized by a centrally controlled media by the government. Especially during the 1960s where there were growing social discontent caused by the worsening economic situation and lack of social reforms, censorship was highly intensified.

This stage has two faces. The first face is where the press was working in a relatively free environment during the first few years after the defeat of the Italian army. And the second face is where censorship is highly intensified toward the end of the stage, which is the start of the revolution that ended the Feudalists era in the country.

The fourth stage starts at the 1974 revolution that brought a change of government and political ideology which led to a socialist system in the country. In this period the entire press fell in the hands of the government. Private publishers were suspended. The mass media were used fully for propaganda aims until the government is overthrown in 1991 which marks the beginning of 1 the fifth stage. The period in the fourth stage could be considered as the time where the free press was under a total oppression.

The fifth stage covers the time from 1991 up to today. In this period private publishers are allowed to publish and censorship is officially forbidden by law. Recently, in 2006 the government licensed two private radio broadcasters though television is not yet allowed for private broadcasters. An important land mark at this period is the 2005 controversial election.

Following the controversy over the election results the government suspended many private publications and arrested journalists to release them after two years in jail in 2007.This time has also witnessed a new press law which is highly criticized by journalists in the country and international press freedom advocates. This stage could be seen as the time for a polarized media environment where the private press is blamed for favoring opposition views while the state owned press serving the ruling party‘s mere interest.

According to a print media Journal of the Ethiopian Press Organization, currently there are more than 95 newspapers, among them 76 are private, 8 are government and 5 of them belong to political parties. Television is still controlled by the state.Two private F.M. radio stations are currently working in addition to the existing national and regional state owned broadcasters.

Shortwave radio broadcasting is still not allowed for the private sector.

Statement of the problem The Ethiopian press has been widely criticised by politicians, business people, the elite and scholars of the area for being highly polarized and extremely biased. The criticism covers nearly every journalism practice across the board that are interested in covering serious issues like political reporting. On the one hand, the public press has been accused of underreporting or totally ignoring issues and events which may expose government wrong doings and denying access to oppositions‘ views. On the other hand the private press has been labelled as a blind supporter and a mouth piece of the opposition views against the government.

Scholars of the area who conducted a scientific research concerning the issue have also proved the assertion to be true. For instance, Yosef (2006), Markos (2006) and Hailemarkos (2006) found out that both the public and the private press covered the 2005 national election in a biased and unethical manner. According to their results, the public media remained an ardent supporter of the ruling party and the private press served the opposition. They did so by unethically choosing a certain story over the other, by unproprtionally allocating space for stories, by choosing angles to relate stories through the headlines in a manner that could serve their sides and by making use of other techniques which help them favour their chosen sides.

These unethical practices have sometimes been criticised from within the journalists themselves.

For instance Tamrat (2005) and Shimelis (1998) described the press as ‗militant journalism‘ and ‗vendetta journalism‘‘ respectively.

2 The above two phrases were used in their description to express the country‘s journalism of hatred, revenge and dislike against one another in the news. The conflict is basically between the ruling class and the opposition camps. False accusations, abusive languages, and painting bad pictures by making use of sarcastic reporting were among the points which are associated with the Ethiopian press. Little improvements that were witnessed over the years before the 2005 elections have been overwhelmed by polarized and extremely biased reporting on the run up to the controversial Election Day and following the announcement of the results until the closure of the major private papers. The government press has become even more explicit in serving the ruling party up to today.



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