Shaping media’s role for the common good

BY STAFF REPORTER

We all know that, media become a part of everyone’s life. We are witnessing media capabilities in changing the scenarios of any actions and intentions, to serve interests, Because, the impact of media is growing we can say now media is becoming food to strengthen or weaken society.

True, the purpose of a media is to give information about current news, gossips, fashion, and the latest gadgets in the marketplace of the people. The role of a media has to be one way trading and marketing of products, and prejudices. It gives geographical knowledge about how people divided. The media claimed to be governed by righteousness and equity for the common man to the rich man.

Because society is influenced by media in so many ways, efforts to created informed communities how to use it should be well exerted by pertinent stakeholders.

Information can be spread after a few clicks of a button, whether it is true, false, speculation or gossip. This can affect relationships in various ways, be it between, countries, institutions, celebrities among others.

The media can manipulate, influence, persuade and pressurize society, along with even controlling the world at times in both positive and negative ways; mentally, physically and emotionally.

 It should well note media also had a bad effect on a generation, mainly because youth is strongly influenced by media teenagers and children are intended to follow their people, who are recognized and follow what they do to get noticed. Sometimes they focus bad part of a media, and influence to do it. However, many did the crime by following media as the goes: “Whoever controls the media controls the mind”.

Of late, media experts drawn from various institutions call on local media to do more in countering the propaganda and disinformation in order to avert undue external pressures on Ethiopia.

Speaking to media, 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.

The Ethiopian Herald October 17/2021

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