Ethiopia: UK Announces Support for Independent Media in Ethiopia

The UK has launched a new funding project to improve skills and capacity among Ethiopian media outlets. The project focuses on countering, fight COVID-19, and secur fund for media organizations, said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

Launching the project during his visit to Addis Ababa, Raab disclosed that media in Ethiopia will now be supported by £3 million of UK funding which will be managed by a consortium led by BBC Media Action.

He added that the consortium will bring together national and local media organisations to help them navigate challenges including how to identify and counter misinformation, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations and on their audiences, and how to more effectively secure funding for their organisations.

The program will bring together national and local media organisations and help them navigate challenges including how to identify and counter misinformation, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations and on their audiences, and how to more effectively secure funding for their organizations.

The Protecting Independent Media for Effective Development (PRIMED) project will strengthen the ability of media organisations in Ethiopia to more effectively navigate a range of pressures while providing the Ethiopian public with accurate, balanced information that enables them to make informed decisions.

Raab said: "By supporting local reporting in Ethiopia, and making sure journalists have the right skills and resources to gather stories, investigate issues and highlight local and national successes, the UK is helping to support an ethical and professional media."

Ethiopian media organisations are further challenged by a restricted operating environment due to COVID-19, communications blackouts, unrest and violence in parts of the country, and a lack of public trust in reporting.

PRIMED works with local media organisations to overcome those challenges, building the capacity of staff, promoting equality and inclusion, and ensuring the industry can continue to inform, connect and inspire Ethiopians across the country and the world.

Caroline Nursey, CEO of BBC Media Action said: "The PRIMED initiative will use this UK funding to offer targeted training, capacity building and support to a range of non-state media organisations to support and defend media sustainability.

Nursery explained that BBC Media Action, Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), International Media Support (IMS) and Article 19 will work with media houses and CSOs in Ethiopia to support professional, impartial and informative content that generates income and engages audiences.

"PRIMED works closely with key stakeholders, including the Ethiopian Broadcast Authority, in the design and delivery of the program, ensuring knowledge and evidence sharing across the media industry," Nursery said.

BBC Media Action has been working in Ethiopia since 2001 to provide audiences with reliable, trusted, information to help keep themselves and their families safe and healthy, and building the capacity of media and journalists.

The PRIMED initiative will work in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone until 2023.

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