Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



The final, definitive version of this article has been published in Journalism, Volume 12, Issue 6, 2011, © SAGE Publications, Inc. DOI: 10.1177/1464884911405471


This study investigates the role of the diaspora online media as stakeholders in the transnational Ethiopian media landscape. Through content analysis of selected websites and interviews with editors, the research discusses how the sites relate to recognized journalistic ideals and how the editors view themselves in regard to journalistic professionalism. It is argued that the journalistic ideals of the diaspora media must be understood towards the particular political conditions in homeland Ethiopia. Highly politicized, the diaspora websites display a marked critical attitude towards the Ethiopian government through an activist journalism approach. The editors differ slightly among themselves in the perception of whether activist journalism is in conflict with ideal-type professional norms, but they justify the practice either because of the less than ideal conditions back home or because they maintain that the combination of activism and professionalism is a forward-looking journalism ideology. The online initiatives of the Ethiopian diaspora are found to prolong media contestations in the homeland as well as reinforcing an ideal-type professional journalism paradigm.



Date Posted: 27 February 2014