The Perplexity of Scholars: Media Relationships in Ethiopia: Exploring the Implications of the Democratization of the Nation

  • Asmamaw Addis
  • Mustofa Worku

Abstract

The role of media in democracy has been understood in terms of providing the general public with
information on what the voters have for the public, how politicians behave, and how citizens increase
their political participation. Scholars’ media participation has been insignificant in the democratization
process of Ethiopia despite its divergent interpretations in previous studies. Scholars’ media participation
in Ethiopia highly waning and waxing from time to time. Therefore, the objective of this exploratory
research is to examine the intricate relationships between scholars and media in Ethiopia. The research
is mainly qualitative: Sixteen key informants were interviewed from both media people and publicscholars.
And three FGDs were held with journalists and public-scholars. The findings have shown
that the scholar-media relationship has been weakening because of the following major factors: media
credibility went down, there are abusive uses of scholars’ opinions and expressions by the media,
there is intolerance of criticisms by the government, and thus polarized political ideologies have been
practiced by many scholars and the media.

References

Aalen, L. & Tronvoll, K. (2009). The end of democracy? Curtailing political and civil rights in Ethiopia. Review of African Political Economy, 36(120),
193-207. doi:10.1080/03056240903065067.
Abbink J. (2006). Discomfiture of Democracy? The 2005 Election Crisis in Ethiopia and Its Aftermath. African Affairs, 105(419), 173–199. doi:10.1093/afraf/adi122.
Abbink, J. (2017). Paradoxes of electoral authoritarianism: the 2015 Ethiopian elections as hegemonic performance, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 35(3), 1-21 doi: 10.1080/02589001.2017.1324620.
Bach, J.N. (2011) Abyotawi democracy: neither revolutionary nor democratic, a critical review of EPRDF’s conception of revolutionary democracy in post-1991
Ethiopia, Journal of Eastern African Studies, 5(4), 641-663. doi:10.1080/17531055.2011.6 42522.
Bahru Zewde. (2002). Pioneers of Change in Ethiopia: Reformist Intellectuals of Early Twentieth Century. Eastern African Studies. Ohio, Ohio University Press.
Chomsky N. (1967). A Special Supplement: The Responsibility of Intellectuals. 8 (3).
New York, The New York Review of Books.
David D. & Martha L. (2000). Liberating the Intellectual Domain from the Practice:Public Relations, Activism, and the Role of the Scholar. Journal of Public
Relations Research, 12 (1), 3-22. doi : 10.1207/S1532754XJPRR1201_2.
Eliaeson S. & Kalleberg R. (2008). Academics as Public Intellectuals. London, Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Gebru Tareke. (2008). The Red Terror in Ethiopia: A Historical Aberration. Journal of Developing Societies, 24(2), 183–206. doi:10.1177/0169796X0802400205.
Gudeta Seifu (2008). “Self-regulation of the private press in Ethiopia: Prospects and challenges” Faculty of Journalism and Communication. School of Graduate
Studies, Addis Ababa University, MA Thesis (Unpublished).
Hagmann, T. & Abbink, J. (2011) Twenty years of revolutionary democratic Ethiopia, 1991 to 2011, Journal of Eastern African Studies, 5(4), 579-595.
doi:1080/17531055.2011.642515.
Published
2018-07-17
How to Cite
ADDIS, Asmamaw; WORKU, Mustofa. The Perplexity of Scholars: Media Relationships in Ethiopia: Exploring the Implications of the Democratization of the Nation. The Ethiopian Renaissance Journal of Social Science and Humanities, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 1, p. 19 - 27, july 2018. ISSN 2409-6385. Available at: <http://ejol.aau.edu.et/index.php/ERJSSH/article/view/1231>. Date accessed: 24 jan. 2020.
Please advise your journal citation style before using the above citation format, you can also find your citation style from citation formats listed down.