Towards Operationalising Self-Regulation in Ethiopia

MERSA Media Institute Executive director Henok Semaegzer Fente. Text by: Elham Ali.

Hem/News/Towards Operationalising Self-Regulation in Ethiopia

July 28, 2021, Addis Ababa: MERSA Media Institute (MMI), in collaboration with Fojo-IMS, launched a study themed at operationalising media self-regulation in Ethiopia. The study explores ways of developing an independent, professional, vibrant, responsible and public interest-responsive media sector in Ethiopia.

Held at Getfam Hotel in Addis Ababa, the study launch event was attended by media leaders and practitioners, professional associations, the donor community and the regulatory body.

MMI Executive director Henok Semaegzer Fente officially opened the launching event with an opening remark that touched upon the general description of the organisation, the need and urgency to operationalise self-regulation and stakeholders’ commitment and involvement to realise self-regulation in Ethiopia.

“The conclusions of this study reflect findings from a series of stakeholder consultations and interviews conducted with key media actors in Ethiopia. We hope the study will help create a knowledge base amongst media actors and inform policy makers and regulators. Above all, we are looking forward to a functional media self-regulatory mechanism in Ethiopia in the coming few years”, says Henok Semaegzer Fente.

Click on the picture to access the study.


The study is based on extensive desk review, benchmarking local and other African experiences and key stakeholder interviews. The report also features six articles written by media executives presenting varied perspectives in identifying major challenges and recommendations on the way forward in operationalising media self-regulation in Ethiopia.

The publication pinpoints the need to create a better understanding, clarity, and awareness about media self-regulation and the process of establishing the mechanism, primarily to people within the media sector and subsequently to the public. 

The launching event was held to initiate stakeholder discussions, develop clarity and set priorities for action on operationalising media self-regulation. It also aimed at stirring stakeholder engagement by bringing about commitment and cooperation to strengthen the self-regulatory mechanisms, which are believed to contribute to professionalism.

At this vital juncture in the media reform process, creating consensus on the essence of media self-regulation among key stakeholders is vital, according to Solomon Goshu, Program Officer at IMS-Fojo.

“IMS-Fojo strongly believes that the study and prioritised action-points identified by key stakeholders and media professionals will pave the way for the Ethiopian Media Council (EMC), Ethiopian Media Authority (EMA) and members of the media community, to play their separate and joint roles in the broader media regulatory space”, said Solomon.

Solomon also said that the study shows that the Ethiopian Media Council should create awareness among media professionals about the control, establishment and implementation of the media. He suggested that a credible structure needs to be created for the implementation of the mutual control system to be successful.

Media self-regulation is one of the key components of the IMS-Fojo program, as it aims to help strengthen the media reform partly through self-regulated media. Moreover, other key components of the program such as media reform, professionalism and inclusion would be enhanced in the presence of a media sector committed to promoting media professionalism and ethical practice, and media self-regulation is the mostly accepted way to successfully manage such affairs.


MERSA Media Institute is a nonprofit media policy think tank that works to help create vibrant, responsible and independent media, professional unions and education centers through research, capacity building and institutional support.

Fojo Media Institute, an independent institution at Linnaeus University, focuses on media development, strengthening free, indepen­dent and professional journalism in Sweden and globally.

International Media Support (IMS) is a non-profit organization working to strengthen the capacity of media to reduce conflict, strengthen democracy and facilitate dialogue.

For further information, contact:

MMI, Mersa Media Institute
Hanna Asmare,
Mersa Media Institute,
Mobile: 0912073811,

Elham Ali,
Communications Officer