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News: Ethiopian Media Authority issues final warning to Prime Media

Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian Media Authority (EMA) has issued a final warning to Prime Television, following a series of alleged infringements of Ethiopia’s broadcasting regulations.

The EMA, citing Proclamation No. 1238/2013, accused the network of broadcasting content that incites discord among citizens and could potentially provoke conflicts. The authority emphasized that it is mandated to prevent broadcasts that could instigate conflicts among different sections of society and create conditions for possible violence.

In a warning letter posted in Facebook, the EMA outlined its concerns about Prime Television’s recent broadcasting activities. It noted that the network has repeatedly faced scrutiny and penalties for contravening broadcasting laws, signaling a serious concern about the broadcaster’s adherence to legal frameworks.

Particular concern was raised about Prime Television’s focus on sensitive religious matters. The EMA contends that such broadcasts could fuel unprecedented societal conflict and danger, which is in stark contrast to the commitments made by Prime Television when it began its operations as a commercial broadcaster.

The network hosted on Wednesday, Hailemichael Tadesse, a spokesperson of the ‘Oromia and nations and nationalities synod’ during the last February schism in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) who said “no agreement was reached” during the recent annual assembly of priests on the issue of resolving disagreements in Oromia as opposed to announcement made by the Holy Synod.

The EMA has now issued a final warning, urging Prime Television to refrain from such broadcasts with the implications of the warning on Prime Television’s future operations remain unclear at this stage.

On 21 May, the media authority temporarily suspended the media license of ‘Mahibere Kidusan TV’, a channel affiliated to Ethiopian Orthodox Church on the same grounds that the station aired content that may provoke conflict among religious followers and incite the Holy Synod’s meeting which was concluded on Monday.

“Mahibere Kidusan” later disagreed with the decision and appealed for the suspension to be lifted. AS

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