In Ethiopia, DW Akademie has joined forces with media actors to promote truthful reporting and combat the creation and sharing of mis- and disinformation.
Since 2018, Ethiopia has witnessed a political transition towards democracy after years of protest demanding reforms and respect for human rights. The new administration led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed introduced sweeping changes early on, including the opening up of the media sector. As a result, exiled politicians and critical media returned home.
However, the hope and excitement for a brighter future of Africa’s second most populous nation and multi-lingual environment has been dampened by a series of challenges, including ethnic clashes. Since the reforms, attacks have claimed the lives of hundreds of people across the country, in part perpetrated by actors spewing hate and disinformation through social media platforms and traditional media.
Despite the critical role media play in promoting public dialogue and aiding the democratization process, the industry is challenged by low professionalism standards, low media and information literacy, and a lack of sustainable business models for selected media.
In collaboration with our partners MERSA Media Institute and Code for Africa, DW Akademie supports fact-checking networks and builds capacities in media houses and in civil society. The project works with media outlets with an aim to address the skills gap among journalists and fact checkers through a training program. In addition, the project promotes dialogue and network building among actors engaged in countering mis- and disinformation.
This will mainstream fact-checking skills and lay the ground for an institutional, sustainable and systemic approach to fight disinformation and counter its negative impact in Ethiopia.
Together with our partners, DW Akademie also supports selected media on how to run economically viable media businesses. Assessments enable DW Akademie and its partners to better understand the challenges and needs of individual media. This project supports media houses with fragile business structures that have been further exacerbated by COVID-19, with tailor-made strategies and particularly in the areas of digital media and monetization.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Program Director: Karolina Luczak Santana
Location: Addis Abeba
Main focus: Professionalism and economic sustainability of the media sector, digitisation, verification of social media content