Addis Abeba — The management of Addis Standard newsroom would like to announce to its esteemed readers that after clearing the misunderstanding with the Ethiopian Media Authority (EMA), which led to the temporary interruption of its publication, the regular work of online publication will resume effective as of today, July 21/2021.
Based on the constructive discussions between the leadership of the EMA and the leadership of Addis Standard newsroom, an agreement was reached on July 19 for the EMA to return back to Addis Standard the certificate of registration. Accordingly, EMA has returned the certificate this morning.
On this occasion, Addis Standard publication would like to reiterate, once again, that according to Ethiopia's newly enacted Mass Media proclamation 1238/2021 EMA's mandate is limited to merely issue certificates of recognition to online media that are willing to seek one.
While we are fully seized of the weight of expectations on EMA to regulate a nascent sector in Ethiopia, we wish to reiterate the importance of respecting the legal procedures in the Mass Media Proclamation. To that effect, we note the following:
The mandate to suspend licenses of print and broadcast media lays with the EMA board. This will only be activated according to Part V (articles 75-82) of the proclamation. Addis Standard online holds a registration, not a license, for online media from EMA and as such is not subject to the revocation of licenses under this proclamation.
The mandate for impounding or injunction over a content to be transmitted by broadcast and print media lies with a Federal or regional public prosecutor if only a clear and imminent danger exists with the publication or broadcast of the content according to article 85 of the proclamation. As such, EMA does not have the mandate to impound media over content it perceives to endanger national security.
It should also be clear on this occasion that the EMA determines the licensing conditions of Broadcast Services - TV and Radio. Accordingly, article 78 on "Grounds for the Suspension of License" clearly states that a broadcasting service license may be suspended by the Authority on any one of the following grounds:
1/ where a licensee does not take corrective measure after an administrative measure was taken in accordance with Sub-Article (1)of Article 74 and Sub-Article (1)of Article 75.
2/ where the transmission has been interrupted without sufficient cause for over a month;
3/ where the licensee fails to discharge its payment obligations provided under Article 46 of this Proclamation;
or 4/ where a court orders suspension of the license.
Addis Standard's decision to continue suspending its publication after Monday is due to the serious allegation by EMA officials that the publication was working to "advance the agenda of the TPLF." Today, the EMA Director General Mr Mohammed Idriss has pledged, once again, to look into the allegation and issue a statement of clarification. Addis Standard newsroom management will be following through the pledge to make sure that such unfounded allegations are not taken as a statement of fact. On this occasion the newsroom management would like to unequivocally state that as a reputable media, Addis Standard's allegiance is to the truth, and the truth only. As a responsible media organization operating under Ethiopian laws, Addis Standard follows a newsroom structure that ensures the content it publishes goes through a stringent editorial process.
The newsroom management would like to take this opportunity to express its appreciation and gratitude to several countries, media institutions, rights organization and individuals for expressing deep concern and unreserved support during the last several days.
We take all these messages of solidarity and support to heart and promises to continue on the decade-old legacy of Addis Standard publication and its commitment to hold the powerful to account, promote freedom of the press and work to help Ethiopia transition to a democratic state.
Issued by: Addis Standard newsroom management