Ethiopia: News – Media, Communication Institutions Should Manage Crisis Time Reporting Carefully: Communication Service

Addis Abeba — The Federal Government Communication Service has said that the media and communication institutions should carefully manage their reporting and access to information in times of crisis in order to reflect the country’s national interest.

This was highlighted at the end of a two-day federal and regional media and communication sector conference in which the 2021/22 fiscal year performance and the 2022/23 plans of the government communication service, federal and regional communication sectors were discussed, according to state media.

The conference has also discussed draft strategy document of government communication for the next five years as well as the communication document prepared regarding the working relationship between the federal government communication and the regional state communication sector structures.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Government Communication Service, Dr. Legesse Tulu, said that special attention has been given to strengthen the media and communication sector for the benefit of the country and its people. The conduct of preparing and providing information should be done in a fast and up-to-date manner by studying the current national and international issues and according to the existing context.

It was indicated at the conference that regional communication institutions should develop a proper operating system for the release of information dispatches from the federal government. Furthermore, regional communication structures should refrain from disseminating inconsistent information. This is especially so when the country is facing crisis and the flow of information in the media and communication sector need to be managed carefully.

The opportunities to the media that are not licensed to participate in government events should also be fixed,

Regional states media institutions should also focus on expanding their reach and focusing on national consensus and multi-national unity.

Dr. Legesse pointed out that the preparation of communication policy and strategy to build a strong communication system was being completed. He added that the regional states communication institutions should coordinate their works under a unified national agenda rather than following a separate agenda.

To that end, they should refrain from providing information on issues that should be disseminated through the federal government only. The minister said that special attention should be paid to the communication work in times of crisis, adding that war-related information cannot be disseminated except by the relevant national institutions and committees. At such times, media and communication activities should be managed in a manner that consider the national interest of the country.

The Minister said that guidelines for crisis time reporting have been prepared and will be announced accordingly.

State Minister of the Government Communication service, Kebede Desisa, on his part said that there should be no restrictions on the right to access public information, so institutions are required to provide information to the media on a regular basis.

According to him the government has a strong desire encourage strong investigative journalism on institutions and they should be prepared to provide clear information. He pledged that the Communication Service will work with the regional states in a standardized and consistent manner. AS

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