Local Media Need to Do More in Countering Propaganda, Disinformation: Media Experts

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October 15/2021 (ENA) Media experts have urged the local media to do more in countering the propaganda and disinformation in order to avert undue external pressures on Ethiopia.

Speaking to ENA, the development policy consultant Dejene Assefa said he has observed encouraging engagements in the Ethiopian media in countering fake information aimed at pressurizing and disintegrating the country.

However, the local media need to do more to avert undue pressures of external powers that conspire to weaken the Government of Ethiopia and dismantle it, he added.

He noted that the local media had at the beginning failed to give due attention to countering the propaganda disseminated by the terrorist TPLF group and its cliques.

But recently they have shown much improvement in counterattacking fake information and propaganda by showing the reality on the ground, the consultant stated.

“When the junta and its cliques attacked the National Defense Force on November 4, 2020 and started their propaganda that the terrorist were victims, the local media did not reveal the truth and exposed the fake information disseminated by the TPLF clique. However, three or four months onwards, the engagement of the local media has been encouraging in creating public awareness and resisting external pressures by countering propaganda and disinformation. Yet, I still think that a lot remains to be done.”

Dejene stressed that the strong engagement of Ethiopian local media in countering fake information helps to expose the unjust pressure of USA and some Western powers to the international community and avert the conspiracy of destabilizing Ethiopia.

According to him, “Ethiopia is a great nation. But, in one or another way we Ethiopians may not understand this. However, the foreigners clearly know Ethiopia’s potential and its hope of attaining development. Hence, the continued undue external pressures arise from this.”

Though unsuccessful, the foreign powers have pressurized the Government of Ethiopia to negotiate with the terrorist TPLF group and attempted to disrupt the national election as well as the formation of a new government, he noted, adding that Ethiopia still need to continue its bargaining power economically and politically.

The local media, on the other hand, have the responsibility to maintain the unity of the people at home by countering the propaganda of the terrorist TPLF group and its cliques, Dejene underscored.

The journalist Isleiman Abay said on his part that both the social and mainstream media are of paramount importance in averting undue pressures on Ethiopia by countering fake information propagated by foreign media.

The public and private media need to collaborate to influence and expose the propaganda and undue external pressures, he stated.

Isleiman noted that both the public and private media should follow information disseminated in the social media and correct them.

However, they shouldn’t always engage in counter propaganda rather they need to set agenda based on the existing realities and tangible evidences.

According to him, the mainstream media and social media have professional responsibility to defend the sovereignty of the county and the unity of the people by countering agenda set to destabilize the country.

Isleiman stressed that the local media need to confront the conspiracy of destabilizing Ethiopia and the attempts to interfere in the domestic affairs of the country.