EMA Steps up Measures to Deal with Fake News

Addis Ababa, June 09, 2021 (Walta) – Ethiopian Media Authority (EMA) recently disclosed that it has intensified its media monitoring activities in order to curb the ongoing and alarming spread of fake news and disinformation via various social and mainstream media.

The authority has also awarded an online license for 30 entities as per the newly revised media proclamation. EMA Deputy Director-General Yonatan Tesfaye told The Ethiopian Herald that given the current situation in Ethiopia, the spread of false information is a matter of concern. “We are monitoring media that are licensed by the Authority 24/7 through our monitoring department.”

Most of the disinformation is being spread through online media, he said, adding that: “Currently, we are registering and licensing online media in accordance with the newly revised media proclamation.’’ According to Yonatan, the authority has been exerting efforts in solving the problems of various media outlets in the country.

There are local and foreign media outlets that have been punished by law for breaching the law, he stated. “Some have received feedback to correct their mistakes. There are also media outlets that have been given written warnings.” Wrongdoings that cannot be solved by the authority and so the case would be referred to the relevant legal body, as to him.

He further noted that the authority has been carrying out a lot of works considering the 6th general elections as such an issue is one of the major national agendas of the country. The Authority is also working in collaboration with various media institutions to make the upcoming general elections peaceful. “We have been exchanging ideas with stakeholders and hosting various discussion forums on several occasions.”

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