ADDIS ABABA – An Ethiopian journalists association urged foreign media agencies to desist from reporting unsubstantiated false stories following a CNN’s report claiming TPLF forces are about to enter Addis Ababa in “matter of hours”.
Since the start of the conflict in Northern Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Mass Media Professionals Association (EMMPA) has been urging media outlets and professionals to be responsible in their reporting.
Recently, however, “some foreign media outlets reporting unethical, unbalanced, and unsubstantiated false stories on Ethiopia which has the potential to jeopardize the peaceful co-existence of Ethiopians with the little verification process and a rush to publish in line with a tabloid media-like standard”, said EMMPA.
The association used a story run by a the United States’s television channel CNN as example of foreign media houses unsubstantiated stories the conflict in Northern Ethiopia in recent times.
Last week, CNN reported a story saying Addis Ababa was encircled by Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) forces and would enter Ethiopian Capital “in a matter of hours”.
After fact-checking, the EMMPA said it has found the story to be untrue.
Stories of such kinds “reflect poorly on the important work of journalism and put other journalists at risk from fulfilling their role”, the Association said.
EMMPA urged both the international and local media institutions to desist from unprofessional and biased reporting.
It also called on journalists to abstain from reports of politically driven conflict-sensitive issues and prejudice reporting. Instead, it advised all media professionals to contribute a constructive role to the development of the journalism profession in Ethiopia.
The government and non-government officials have also been urged to provide timely and accurate information to the media to tackle “unnecessary information crisis that might ultimately threaten the security of the people”, according to the statement.