ADDIS ABABA — The Ethiopian government has threatened to scrap operation licenses against four media organizations, the BBC, Reuters, Associated Press and CNN for allegedly spreading fake news that the Ethiopian media regulator says appear to be advancing TPLF agenda since the start of the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia.
“The Ethiopian Media Authority, in issuing licenses for journalistic operations, expects reports not to endanger Ethiopia’s national interest, territorial integrity, or the peaceful coexistence of the people of Ethiopia,” the Ethiopian media regulator said in a statement seen by Sudans Post.
“Since the onset of the law enforcement operation in the Northern Region of Ethiopia by the Federal government, the Ethiopian Media Authority has been monitoring numerous foreign media outlets and conducting a trend analysis on their reporting patterns on the issue,” it adds.
It however said media outlets like the BBC, CNN, Reuters, and Associated Press “have consistently disseminated news that sowed seeds of animosity among people and compromised the sovereignty of the country.”
“As covered in detail within this letter the Authority has identified some of the trends of media misconduct and shady BBC [CNN, Reuters, Associated Press] reporting, which include manufacturing and dissemination of false news and news analyses on Ethiopia to assist the TPLF’s objectives.”
The statement said the media outlets have been “Reporting the Law enforcement operation as a genocidal campaign, purposely to “undermining the government’s efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region.”
The statement said government assessment has proven that the media outlets have not followed media regulations of the Ethiopian government and warned to withdrew license of the written warning does not make a difference.
“The Authority would ike to bring to your notice that despite repeated attempts, formal and informal discussions, to rectify journalistic misconduct of your news institution, no significant change have been registered so far,” they said in the statement.
“Given the Authority’s responsibility to protect the wellbeing of the Ethiopian people from the dissemination of unsubstantiated information, the Authority, hereby, extends to your Institution a written warning with an understanding that in the absence of ethical and professional journalistic operation, the Authority would be compelled to revoke the license granted to your institution to operate in Ethiopia,” the statement added.