Radar | Apr 03,2021
May 8 , 2021
By Kidist Yidnekachew
When Ferruccio Lamborghini, a wealthy farmer, met Enzo Ferrari, he commented on the cars' heavy clutch. Ferarri then told the farmer that a man as common as him would know nothing about cars and their manufacturing process. In an act of defiance, Lamborghini established his own company that today clearly displays the rivalry between the two super and hyper automakers.
Such rivalries are not limited to the car industry. They are not even limited to companies within an industry but between industries as well. Nowhere is this more glaring than the media today.
Up until a decade and a half ago, we all were used to what is known as legacy media. They are as top-down as they come. A few prominent individuals at the highest echelons of society have the capital to establish media houses, and then go on to hire editors and reporters over which they have undue influence. The subjectivity of these media houses was evident.
This was not just true in Ethiopia but in countries such as the United States. Take the candidacy and the presidency of Donald Trump. Media outlets such as Fox Newswere slobbering over every act of the president while the likes of CNNand MSNBCcriticised nearly all of his policies and decisions all throughout his presidency.
The media was polarised on either side reporting angles that reflected the media outlets' outlook instead of allowing audiences to formulate their own opinions. This problem is significantly worse in Ethiopia, where journalism as a profession is new to begin with.
Often times during interviews, I have been grilled in attempts to reveal where I stand on political and socioeconomic issues. However, this should not matter as a journalist. I am supposed to leave my personal feelings aside and report facts neutrally.
Worse still, I have also seen friends with a great talent for storytelling be denied access to employment because their production style did not fit with the media’s perspective on issues.
But thanks to the 21st century and the digital revolution, these media outlets are getting their comeuppance. Many of the talented youth I know personally that have been rejected because their perceived narrative was not acceptable have now found a more open platform and a more profitable method than partnering with interfering and censoring authorities.
YouTube may only be a teenager of 16 years but it is already a household name. Despite being known as a place for people to watch news, pranks, music videos, reviews and tutorials, it is also a platform that is giving many full-time jobs.
There are over two billion users on the platform with over six million of these from Ethiopia, according to datareportal.com. Like any online platform, users mean more "eyeballs," which translate into money. And users only keep coming back if there are new and interesting things to see. As an incentive to gain content and users, YouTube has also launched a partnership programme that allows content creators to place ads in their videos.
Based on the number of views the ads get, the partner will get a percentage of the ad revenue - that is a huge incentive to make videos and make them so they are likely to be viewed by many.
Many of the producers I know that are now content creators on YouTube decided to try the platform after being rejected by a legacy media outlet. Their content was deemed either inappropriate or unimportant. Some of these legacy media rejects nonetheless have found a new lease of life on YouTube. They could reach upwards of 200,000 views in the first few days of release, netting between 1,000 dollars to four times that a month. Not bad I would say.
We can either run with progress or be run by it. This is true now more than ever for the transformation taking place within the media. People choose online content over fixed-time programmes. They can pause, skip or forward at any time. It offers optimal convenience. On the other hand, it would take massive brand loyalty to stick with a show that could only be accessed at a specific time of the week and is sparsed out by so many ads as to be frustrating.
Legacy media outlets should put their ego aside and run with the progress instead of wanting to form the type of programming that fits into their narrative of society. At least, it would help them stay relevant. After all it is not the logo that people come to see. It is the people and their creative direction that keeps the audience coming back.
This is not to say that the unfettered freedom and the algorithms employed by social media platforms are free of shortcomings. The problem of bias is perhaps more problematic in digital media. But this is compensated by the diversity of content that is offered, leaving the choice of picking winners and losers, by and large, to media consumers instead of a few powerful people at the top.
PUBLISHED ON May 08,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1097]
Radar | Apr 03,2021
Life Matters | Oct 08,2022
Radar | Jun 26,2021
Editorial | Aug 08,2020
My Opinion | Dec 04,2020
Viewpoints | May 15,2021
Featured | Feb 01,2020
Viewpoints | Jan 21,2023
Viewpoints | Nov 29,2020
Photo Gallery | 82749 Views | May 06,2019
Photo Gallery | 74894 Views | Apr 26,2019
Fineline | 58541 Views | Oct 03,2020
Fortune News | 58333 Views | Jul 18,2020
Commentaries | Dec 02,2023
Life Matters |
My Opinion | Dec 02,2023
Sunday with Eden | Dec 02,2023
Agenda | Dec 02,2023
Editorial | Dec 02,2023
Dec 24 , 2022
Biniam Mikru heads the department of cabinet affairs under Mayor Adanech Abiebie. But...
Jul 2 , 2022 . By RUTH TAYE
On a rainy afternoon last week, a coffee processing facility in the capital's Akaki-Qality District was abuzz with activ...
Nov 27 , 2021
Against my will, I have witnessed the most terrible defeat of reason and the most sa...
Nov 13 , 2021
Plans and reality do not always gel. They rarely do in a fast-moving world. Every act...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country's most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or two...
Dec 2 , 2023
The symphony of traffic noise in Addis Abeba is not just a sign of life, but a siren...
Nov 25 , 2023
Ethiopia's quest to develop a functioning capital market is a demanding yet not unach...
Nov 18 , 2023
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has made a fervent call for landlocked Ethiopia to ga...
Nov 11 , 2023
In November last year, a ray of hope pierced the gloomy skies of Ethiopia as the Pret...
I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. It is my go to source for information. I enjoy interacting with text messages and browsing t...
Over the weekend, I attended a wedding where my husband was one of the protocols. Despite the typical joy...
Dec 2 , 2023 . By MUNIR SHEMSU
Mamo Mihretu, the governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), has outlined a com...
Dec 2 , 2023 . By AKSAH ITALO
BGI Ethiopia, one of the largest brewing companies, is in the throes of a major trans...
Minister of Agriculture, Girma Amentie (PhD), is leading a charge to overhaul the fer...
Dec 2 , 2023 . By AKSAH ITALO
Amidst accession to a cross-regional trade, one of the oldest industries is strugglin...
Or see contact page