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News: Journalists at TPLF owned Dimtsi Woyane media in Tigray resign en masse protesting lack of editorial freedom, bad leadership

Logo of Dimtsi Woyane Television and Radio (DW) (Picture: DW)

By Mihret G Kristos @MercyG_kirstos

Addis Abeba: Several journalists at the TPLF owned Dimtsi Woyane Television and Radio (DW) headquartered in Mekelle, Tigray region, have resigned from their jobs in protest against lack of editorial freedom and bad media leadership. 

Addis Standard spoke to at least five journalists who have already resigned from their roles, and learned that over two dozen other journalists are in a process of submitting their resignations.

Haftom Hayle, a journalist, who is among those who have already submitted their resignations, told Addis Standard that he resigned because the media only entertains ideology of one group, and that he couldn’t practice his profession freely.

He said: “Tigray people’s agenda is not the priority of the media, and journalists are promoted based on party membership despite their knowledge and experiences”.

Despite being owned by the party [TPLF], Haftom said “the media shouldn’t be led by the idea of one or two individuals or groups, it should be led according to the editorial”, adding that, “we are not even allowed to express our ideas on our personal [social media] pages”.

Kahsay Mesele, assistant editor and one of the senior journalists who resigned from DW, told Addis Standard that the leadership of the media is politically loyal to the party and that they lack professional experience.

“Experience, hard work, and knowledge has no value in the media unless you are a cadre,” Kahsay said.

Kahsay said “after programs and documentaries were made ready for broadcast, if they are not to the liking of the [party] officials, they would be dropped with a phone call”.

Abadi Gebreselassie, head of Dimtsi Woyane Television and Radio (DW) however refuted the accusations against the leadership saying that they are “totally far from the truth”, and added that the journalists who accusing the media are those who were fired due to lack of reputable discipline, some of them resigned in connection to salary issue a year ago. 

“We don’t have journalists who resigned or submitted resignation letters due to bad leadership in the institution, I have never heard of such an issue,” Abadi told Addis Standard.

Due to the war in Tigray, at least 330 employees of DW have not been paid their salaries for over two years, and as a result there are journalists who resigned to seek better opportunities, said Abadi. 

Abadi reiterated that journalists who have political interests and are cooperating with external forces, are on a campaign against the leadership of the media. He however admitted that the media has banned its journalists from writing their opinions on their social media pages.

This comes amidst growing tension between TPLF, the party ruling the war torn Tigray region, and opposition parties operating in the region over issues of inclusion in the ongoing establishment of the Interim Regional Administration (IRA) pursuant to the peace agreement reached between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF in November last year.

On 16 February, Three major opposition political parties in the region invalidated a committee authorized to lead the establishment of an Interim Regional Administration (IRA) saying that it excluded the opposition political parties. AS

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