With a pressing need to help protect local journalists and journalism, a new association has been started in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Mass -Media Professional Association held its inaugural meeting inside the Ethiopian Press Agency around 4 Kilo and highlighted the pressing issues that local journalists face, including lack of training, proper support and compensation and employment opportunities.
The sector facing one of its worst challenges in the midst of COVID – 19 pandemic has seen a number of publications and media houses close and almost all have seen their revenues from advertisements go down, forcing many to lay off workers.
“As journalists, we should not rely on reports of Human Rights Watch to defend our rights but be reputable to provide the independent voice. We have to be there for each other for good and bad”, said vice president of the Association Ermiyas Begashew.
Ethiopian Mass-Media Professionals Associations hopes to reach out nationwide journalism professionals and practitioners within short time and aims to build strong and vibrant journalist union that could be an advocator of the profession.
President of the union, Eliyas Meseret in his part said, due to the absence of strong journalism unions, Ethiopian media professionals are behind several opportunities that could transform journalist ability to perform in the sector.
“I have witnessed very best opportunities from international agencies even in neighboring countries to media professionals coming via their associations,” said Eliyas.
He has also indicated that Building journalist skill and capacity have a tremendous impact to build confidence on them and make ready to report and investigate cases of corruption and other maladministration inside the public.
Founders of the association cognizant of skill gaps, lack of commitment and support both from government and other agencies in Ethiopia to invest on journalisim profession they have formed the Ethiopian mass-media professionals.