Advanced Television

ENN to go dark

July 2, 2018

By Chris Forrester

Ethiopian News Network (ENN) is likely to go dark on July 2nd. The broadcaster, which models itself on CNN but with a tiny fraction of the news giant’s resources, is based in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia and transmits on Nilesat.

Launched in 2016 the privately-owned station carries a wide portfolio of daily news programming, but also includes material for kids, youngsters and female issues, and deliberately established to be an alternative to the state-backed Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation.

Founded by an Ethiopian-Canadian journalist, Benyam Kebede (Ben), the station has around 115 staff who were told June 29th that the station’s many challenges, not least cash, had proved too difficult to overcome.

It would seem that frequent criticism of the government and which led to the station’s journalists being barred from government press conferences and briefings, and had spread to advertisers pulling their support.

Prime minister Abiy Ahmed (who survived an assassination attempt June 24th) is reported to have been highly critical of the station and cited its “inaccurate reporting”. 

Benyam had achieved fame and as the owner of the much-praised website ‘Ethiopia First’, and went on to become a prominent media figure in Ethiopia.

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