THE ROLE OF THE PRIVATE PRINT MEDIA IN POST-SOCIALIST ETHIOPIA:VIEWS FROM GOVERNMENT, OPPOSITION POLITICIANS, ACADEMICS AND THE PRIVATE PRESS

Melisew Dejene

Abstract


Recounting the views of the government, opposition politicians, academics and the private press itself as represented by their editors, the study argues that the private print media in Ethiopia are subject to external and internal challenges that dwarf its role in helping the transition to democracy. The volatility of the socio-political context regarding their operation and the low readership culture could be singled out among the external challenges to the private media. The major challenge associated with the private print media themselves is lack of professional knowledge and capacity. The study uses McQuail’s Normative Theory of Media Structure and Performance to frame the role of the private print media in Ethiopia of the last two decades. Though the private print media contributed to the struggle for democracy, their role is below the societal demands.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5789/7-2-136

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