Media Council urges gov’t for legal recognition
A product of a decade-long negotiation that involved consolidation and compromise, the Ethiopian Media Council, two and a half years after its establishment is unable to attain a legal personality until now, and the executive committee of the council has requested the designated body of the government to undertake its registration process and grant legality to the council.
The statement sent to The Reporter by the executive committee of the Ethiopian Media Council stated that the recent measures taken by the government to amend the existing laws, proclamations and procedures, which hamper the respect of freedom of speech and press, are very important and the Council believes these proclamations should be amended.
Moreover, the Council also expressed its commitment and readiness to contribute its share in the discussions and different activities to amend such stifling proclamations. Therefore, the council requested the government to recognize it as a legal entity and engage the council in the ongoing discussions about these proclamations.
The statement further stated that even though the proclamation that governs CSOs is identified as a problematic one, the council still does not believe that the proclamation as it stands can facilitate the registration process, the statement read.
Though the members of the council reached to 29; during its inception, the Ethiopian Media Council consisted of 19 media companies and journalist associations drawn from both broadcasting and printing categories. Article 38 of the Draft Press Proclamation of 2000, provides for the establishment of a Press Council in Ethiopia where membership is drawn from the federal government, association of journalists, journalists, publishers, broadcasters and societies.