An Investigation on the Perspectives of Political Economy: The Case of Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC)

  • Ayele Addis Ambelu
  • Adem Chanie Ali
  • Terje Steinulfsson Skjerdal
Keywords: Broadcast media; Ethiopia: Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation; Ideology; Political economy


This article is framed to analyze the role of political economy in the African broadcast media in the case of Ethiopia. The research implemented a qualitative approach, mainly document analysis and in-depth interviews whereby a purposive sampling technique was used to generate relevant data. The data analysis technique for the study was drawn from the theoretical underpinnings of the theory of political economy. The research findings reveal that the Ethiopian government has exerted direct and indirect influence over the broadcast media through co-opting the political economy of the state, most of which were employing political-oriented regulatory bodies and regulations on the mainland. The political economy has shaped the media, and their interactions with the orientation of political structure, ideology, and function. As a result, the state broadcast media is facing the challenge of intrusion by the state. This study shows that efforts to reform state-owned public broadcast media into a public service broadcaster were never accomplished due to political economy factors, lack of political will, and tight regulatory environment. The main recommendations which are emphasized in the reform of the government’s political economy, party ideology, regulations, and regulatory bodies are imperative for the future free and public media development.

Author Biographies

Ayele Addis Ambelu

Woldia University, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Department of Journalism and Communication, Lecturer and Ph.D. candidate in Bahir Dar University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism and Communication

Adem Chanie Ali

Bahir Dar University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism and Communication, Associate Professor of Communication

Terje Steinulfsson Skjerdal

NLA University Colleges, Associate Professor in Media Studies, Kristiansand, Norway