Coverage of Democratic Issues in the Ethiopian Press


  • Nigussie Meshesha Hawassa University, School of Language & Communication Studies, P.O. Box 05, Hawassa University, Ethiopia


democracy, press, newspapers, framing, national, balance, news coverage


The press is very vital in building democracy and democracy cannot be thought without respecting the rights of citizens. Democratic governments express their loyalty to citizens through allowing freedom of expression and press. The present study aims at finding out the coverage pattern of news regarding the different democratic issues covered in three selected national daily newspapers in Ethiopia in order to demonstrate how the press framed news in the nation's democratic process. This is because the degree and nature of news coverage of the press is believed to indicate how the press functions towards democracy. In the study quantitative content analysis method was employed to analyze data obtained through systematic random sampling. Based on the sampling method proportional sample newspapers were taken from about one year’s publication by forming continuous and constructed weeks. A total of 168 (56 each) sample newspapers were included. From the sample newspapers only news items were taken and classified into 12 identified major categories. The news items were analyzed quantitatively using frequencies and percentages by measuring the number of news appeared and the space provided for the categories and sub categories. The finding of the study revealed that Amhara, Oromiya, Tigray and SNNPR, and Addis Ababa City council obtained more coverage than the other regional states and Dire Dawa city council. The result of study also indicated that the private press neglected national news and focused more on international affairs. Moreover, there was also difference in the degree of fairness where the government press was less critical unlike the private one. Generally, it was found out that the coverage pattern of the press was much affected by the ownership style and that, in turn, affected the degree of fairness of the press in providing balanced information towards serving democracy.



How to Cite

Meshesha, N. . (2021). Coverage of Democratic Issues in the Ethiopian Press. Journal of Science and Development, 2(2), 41-64. Retrieved from