Ethiopia is one of the countries in the world with the worst record of press freedom. After the 2005 disputed elections, scores of popular independent newspapers have been closed down. In the last few years alone, a number of journalists have been harassed, persecuted, tortured and jailed for doing their jobs. Over 150 journalists have been forced into exile within the last five years.
The Ethiopian government controls almost all electronic media outlets. The state-run media is solely focused on propaganda and shuts out critical views. ESAT aspires to fill that void so that the Ethiopian people will have unfettered access to information, diverse viewpoints and perspectives.
Freedom of information is a fundamental human right. Every Ethiopian citizen has the constitutional and internationally-guaranteed legal right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers and without interference, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through other media of his choice and without censorship in any form.”