INTRODUCTION

Online journalism in Ethiopia has shown little improvement since the mid- 2000s. The immediacy of the Internet is poorly exploited, with news sites appearing mostly as replicas of their parent print or broadcasting outlet. Even though there has been some improvement in technological features, the sites only to a very limited extent incorporate interactivity. In terms of total volume, most media content in Ethiopia is still produced for traditional radio, television and newspapers. The number of local news blogs has actually decreased since 2007;2 this is despite the fact that more and more citizens are regular Internet users. Overall, the development in Ethiopian online reporting is in many ways contrary to expectations of steady growth in the new media sector in developing societies. There are combined reasons for this situation. One is limitations in technological infrastructure, leaving Ethiopia as one of the most poorly connected countries in the world. Another is lack of profit related to the online media. A third reason for the missing progress in online journalism, perhaps more pervasive than the other two, is government policy and strategy. In recent years, the authorities have instituted numerous measures that serve to restrict rather than encourage a vibrant online sphere. This has in turn had an impact on the private media houses, which only exhibit modest interest in the online media as an opportunity for journalistic achievements. (Read the whole article here)

By Terje S. Skjerdal