The Ethiopian Media Council has been formally recognized as an independent civil society organization (CSO) under the newly-amended proclamation that governs CSOs. The Council was formed following a general assembly held on January 12, 2016 at the assembly hall of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
The Council, whose members include publishers, broadcasters as well as media associations, has been struggling to register as a legal entity under the now defunct country’s CSO proclamation. But the efforts were futile because of the inability of the proclamation to register them under the generic name CSOs.
According to a statement the Council sent to The Reporter, it has taken 42 weeks to get the recognition and registration. Throughout this time, it has managed to raise its membership base to 29, from the initially registered 19 members.
“In order for the media to properly serve the public as well as for the journalism profession to blossom, the Council is shouldered with a lot of tasks,” reads the statement.
Apart from supporting journalists’ capacity building so that they conduct their journalism up to the standard and within the legal boundaries, the council promised to promote press freedom by fighting the illegal and improper government hands laid on the press.
The Ethiopian Media Council will have an Executive Committee in which Amare Aregawi, the General Manager of The Reporter, English, and Reporter, Amharic, newspapers and Meaza Birru, the Co-owner of Sheger FM will serve as chairperson and deputy chairperson.