An indicative research report with recommendations for the FojoIMS Ethiopia Programme: “MEDIA REFORM IN A TIME OF CHANGE: PROMOTING JOURNALISM AND DEMOCRACY”
Authors: Bethlehem Negash Woldeyohannes & Tewodros Hailemariam
Edited by Alan Finlay
Fojo Media Institute (Fojo) and International Media Support (IMS) are implementing the programme “Media Reform in a Time of Change – Promoting Journalism and Democracy” in Ethiopia (2020-2023). The programme is supported by Sida and Danida, the international development agencies of Sweden and Denmark.
The overall objective of the programme is to enable men and women in Ethiopia to have access to independent and balanced public interest journalism, enabling democratic peaceful citizen engagement and accountable governance. Promoting women’s representation in newsrooms, the fair and balanced portrayal of women and men in media content and promoting media access to women are critical to realizing these objectives.
The purpose of this study, which was conducted in 2020, was to generate key baseline information and programme recommendations on the state of gender and the media in Ethiopia. It consists of a desk review of available literature; a summary of gender-disaggregated data from seven media houses; and the results of 21 interviews and a focus-group discussion with seven informants that speak to several key areas of concern, such as the presence or absence of workplace policies that impact on women, and access to gender training for journalists. A short concluding section overviews the mainstreaming of gender in journalism department in select universities.
This study should be considered indicative, and as a useful reference point for discussion and
further research. Research limitations, including its small sample size, meant that it was only
able to provide a high-level analysis of gender data and policies in the newsroom, which would benefit from more detailed study of policies and processes in place. The research also occurs against a backdrop of rapid changes in the Ethiopian media landscape, a number of which have occurred since this assessment was finalised.