The aim of the study was assessing the implications of community-based private media for nation building in Ethiopia. To this end, the study employed a mixed research approach. Likewise, interviews, questionnaires, and document reviews were employed as data gathering tools of the study. The study population consisted of community-based private television stations found in Ethiopia such as Oromia Media Network, Amhara Satellite Radio and Television, Oromia Broadcasting Service, LTV Ethiopia, Ethiopian broadcast authorities, Ethiopian journalist associations, and political elites. As well, purposive and convenient sampling was utilized for selecting interviewees, and simple random sampling was employed for selecting participants for questionnaires. In so doing, 400 informants were selected as the sample size of the study. Thematic data analysis was used for the qualitative data, and SPSS with descriptive and inferential statistics were used for the quantitative data. Thus, the findings of this study revealed as follows: First, community-based private media has a devastating role in nation-building and state integration in Ethiopia. Similarly, community-based media played a significant role in inciting conflict and violence in the country, and they have made a momentous contribution to destabilizing the on-going political transition. Second, the on-going violence in the country is fuelled by community-based media in a state-sponsored manner, primarily by people who are in the government structure deliberately working against the interests of the government to fasten the disintegration among various ethnic communities in the country. Third, community-based media often propagate ethnic nationalism to erode the national unity and solidarity of the people by reporting fake news. Therefore, the study concluded that the key constraints causing Ethiopia’s nation-building process and state integration to weaken over the last few years are the absence of media law to shape the media’s behaviour pattern, weak leadership, the absence of credible independent civic associations, a lack of political determination to maintain law and order in the country, and the presence of poor media ethics. Media law shall be effectively applied to make community-based media’s contribution to nation building and state integration positive as well as to make them accountable for their deeds.
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© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- community-based private media
- media law
- nation building and integration