reports by CNN and some other foreign media reporting are untrue and poorly reflect the important work of journalism; Statement by EMMPA on Foreign Media Reporting about Ethiopia’s Current
Since the start of the conflict in Northern Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Mass Media Professionals’ Association (EMMPA) has been urging media outlets and professionals to minimize harm and be responsible in their reporting.
This is to be in line with the ethics of journalism in a bid to protect unnecessary chaos and public safety and be responsible in their role as journalists.
Furthermore, the association has made continuous statements alerting and urging government officials and other parties to refrain from arbitrary detention and arresting journalists with no due process.
Recently, EMMPA noticed some foreign media outlets reporting unethical, unbalanced, and unsubstantiated stories on Ethiopia which has the potential to risk the peaceful co-existence of the people and endanger the sovereignty. These stories are produced with little verification and published with tabloid standards.
In this regard, EMMPA has recorded the report published by CNN and some other foreign media earlier this week saying Addis Ababa is encircled by TPLF forces and is set to enter Addis Ababa “in a matter of hours”. Following this report, the association has been working to fact-check the credibility of such stories. According to the information and observation we have received from our members and residents, as of this writing, Addis Ababa and its environs are observing the normal day-to-day activities of Ethiopians.
Therefore, these stories are untrue and poorly reflect the important work of journalism, and compromise the profession. The association strongly denounces such practices.
In this regard, EMMPA calls both the foreign and local media institutions to desist from unprofessional reporting.
The Association also calls upon the respective government officials, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to provide timely and accurate information to journalists to avoid unnecessary information crises that might ultimately threaten the security of the people so that similar reporting is not repeated.
Similarly, the Association urges local media institutions to play crucial roles in providing current, up-to-date, accurate, and balanced information to their audience.
The Association would also like to reiterate that journalists should exercise utmost caution while reporting conflicts and abstain from politically charged and prejudice reporting.
Finally, the Association advises all media professionals to contribute a constructive role to the development of the profession in Ethiopia, and EMMPA calls on our partners and other concerned bodies to work in concert to improve professionalism.
The Association would be cooperative with any concerned stakeholders’ endeavor to contribute to the development of journalism and theme unprofessional practices in Ethiopia.
EMMPA is a nonpartisan and independent professional association, embracing nationwide journalists (working for local and foreign media), video and photojournalists, established to enhance professionalism and protect the safety of journalists.
November 7, 2021
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ethiopian Mass Media Professionals’ Association (EMMPA)