Experts emphasize media’s agenda setting role


ADDIS ABABA– Eschewing a mere parroting of the interests of political actors, the Ethiopian mainstream media should transform to active agents of agenda setting thereby shaping the public opinion towards constructive purposes, media experts highlighted.

Addis Ababa University Journalism and Communication PhD Candidate Dessalew Getnet told local media that the mainstream media should react proactively in sending timely and verifiable information that would enable it to fulfill its priority role of serving the public interest.

Noting the audience have the opportunity to get timely information from the social media platforms, Dessalew highlighted that the mainstream media have the responsibility of providing the accurate information to the public that the alternate media are largely deprived of. The conventional media have also a responsibility of creating informed society as modern society demands timely and credible information that only comes from trusted outlets.

 “Currently, the Ethiopia media is mainly engaged to entertain formed agenda. Hence, the outlets are seemingly changing themselves to be history writers instead of forecasting the future which should have been their main task.”

Another media expert Dereje Tekle also urged the mainstream media to proactively detect and counter the growingdisinformation campaigns of the social media actors. The conventional media has a power to counter misinformation largely coming from unverified social media accounts. “Now, the responsibility of the media should not be business as usual as ethnic strife ravaged the county’s peace. Accordingly, the mainstream media has faced critical duties to neutralize hate speeches and smear campaigns that have been coming from different interest groups.”

The March 11/2022

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