Critical Ethiopian magazine folds under state of emergency

EAST News (October 25, 2016)

Addis Standard, an English monthly magazine highly regarded for its extensive and coverage of Ethiopian politics and current crises in the country, has folded beginning this month.addis-magazine

Tsedale Lemma, the editor-in-chief, confirmed to ESAT on the phone that the print version of the magazine has been closed after printers refused to publish the October issue fearing government reprisal. Tsedale said, however, that the digital version of the magazine would continue.

The regime declared a state of emergency early this month which, among others, prohibits the publication of materials critical of the regime.

Tsedale said it was impossible to continue under the circumstances as printers, vendors and newsstands refused to take her magazine fearing retaliation from the regime, which is one of the top jailer of journalists.  

She said the October issue of her magazine was sent to the press before the declaration of the state of emergency. But she was told by the printing press to bring a letter permitting publication from the “command post” that is in charge of executing the state of emergency.

Addis Standard, which began publishing in February 2011, was one of the very few remaining independent media in the country. It is known for its critical and extensive coverages especially on the ongoing protests in the Oromo region.

The editor-in-chief also said her magazine was banned from important news events including the visit by President Barack Obama to the east African country in 2015.

After several ups and downs and management consultations, it is with heavy heart that team Addis Standard announces the unfortunate termination of Addis Standard PRINT edition effective Oct. 2016,” the magazine said in a Facebook post early on Tuesday.