ETV that has been busily reporting the double digit economic growth and heralding the renaissance of Ethiopia for more than a decade now makes a double letter change in its name. Its new name, EBC, is somewhat closer to ABC, CBC, KBC and BBC not in professionalism but because of these two letters-B&C.
It seems that the managers of ETV are more concerned about changing its name instead of changing its program format, its content, its presentation and its practice in general. Is the new naming meant to make ETV distinct from the newly established media organizations such as Oromia TV, South TV, Amhara TV, Dire TV and Addis Ababa TV? It appears to me that because ETV considers itself as the oldest and biggest media organization in the country, it wanted to have a name that makes it stand out from those regional TV organizations. It is like ETV saying,’’ Listen guys, I have served the Ethiopian public since Emperor Hailesilassie. It will not be fair to be called by the same name for more than half a century though a little has changed about my practice. Moreover, I cannot share similar name with the new and inexperienced TV stations; I should have a name that puts me to the level of ABC or BBC despite the fact none of my journalistic practices equal the practices of those broadcasting corporations.’’
Whether it is ETV or EBC, I don’t think that really matters to the public. What matters is the content, the presentation and the programming. What matters is serving the public as per the journalistic concepts &principles. In my view, ETV, as a media organization lacks credibility (a number of research has proved this) because it doesn’t adhere to the fundamental principles of journalism. No/little objectivity, no/little truth, no/little fairness, no/little verification! It does the work of public relations-building the image of those who rule.
In my opinion, changing the name of ETV to EBC will not bring credibility to the oldest broadcaster of this country unless the organization discards the old practices and embrace the new ones. Changing two letters in the naming of the organization will not help to win the heart of millions of people. People have many more alternatives today than ever before and there is no reason for them to spend their valuable time watching distorted, manipulated, biased and tampered news reporting and horrifying documentaries based on falsehood and fabrication.
NB: EBC (formerly called ERTA) is a newly designated name for ETV, the Ethiopian National Radio and FM 97.1. We now have EBC TV, EBC Radio and EBC Online.