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    PoliticsCouncil of Ministers approves draft media proclamation

    Council of Ministers approves draft media proclamation

    Date:

    Allows 25 percent media ownership by foreign nationals

    The Council of Ministers approved a draft proclamation on media outlets which will serve as a legal framework for print and broadcast media together with the first legal framework for Internet media.

    It was indicated that the bill strongly supports the exercise of freedom of information to bolster freedom of expression and of the press.

    The biggest amendment on the bill is said to be the new provision that the media should not be held accountable for defamation.

    In addition, the draft law allows foreigners to invest in the Ethiopian media sector and own a share of up to 25 percent. The current proclamation prohibits ownership of media by foreign nationals. .

    The bill also allows the re-establishment of the media licensing and regulatory institution, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority, under the name “Ethiopian Media Authority.” Board members of the Authority may not be members of a political party and its accountability has been changed from Office of the Prime Minister to the House of peoples’ Representatives (HPR).

    Even further, the draft regulation encourages the establishment of a media self-regulatory system.

    Under the current law, there is no provision for the registration and licensing of websites that provide text and image information to the media using only Internet technology. Hence, the draft stipulates that such media outlets must be registered and licensed.

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