Mass Media and Governance: Issues and Challenges in Contemporary Ethiopia

Tesfaye Bezabih


The concept and issues of governance is as old as human history, though its theoretical and practical aspect is historically linked with Western Enlightenment. At ancient times, groups of people who form a community, select a person or number of persons who can represent their interest and control their community from other enemies. Through time, the number and psychological make-up of the community has become too complex to be lead by the selected chairperson. This requires well trained and professional governor (Gerring, et al., 2005Since the era of enlightenment, governance has got eight (bureaucratic quality, tax revenue, investment rating, trade openness, Gross Domestic Products (GDP), infant mortality and life expectancy) measures. Among these, illiteracy is mentioned as the indicator and evidence of broad patterns of governance. Activities of the government then came to be analyzed and discussed by the society. Various features and standards were formulated for checking the jobs of governments (Gerring, 2005).

However, in broad terms, there are no objective standards for determining governance as good or bad. Norris (2006) noted that based up on the subjective perceptions, there are five indicators of good governance accountability, lack of corruption, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness, and consensus oriented, responsiveness, and equity and inclusiveness. To scrutinize these indicators, Petters (2003) explained that media can play greater role in disseminating information to create an informed debate in the society

In the generic sense of the world, governance means the tasks of running a government or any appropriate entity. Governance is sometimes used as a synonym for government. Nonetheless, governance is a more extensive idea than government. The British Council portrayed governance as communications between the formal institutions and those in civil societies. As indicated by the body, governance alludes to a procedure whereby components in the public eye employ power, specialist and impact and sanction arrangements and choices concerning open life and social upliftment.

Governance from the aforesaid encompasses but transcends the collective meaning of related concepts such as: the state, government, regime and good government. It implies organizational effectiveness in relation to policy formation and implementations, in the conduct of economic, social, cultural, political and technological policies and the contribution of these to growth, stability and people welfare .In the words of Fukuda-Par and Ponzio(2002),’’Governance is about process, not about ends’’. Governance is about the process by which power and authority are exercised in a society, by which government, the private sector, and citizens’ groups articulate their interest, mediate their differences and exercise their legal rights and obligations(ibid).Governance has also been described as the conscious management of regime structures with  a view to enhancing the public realm. Benz(2004) identified the core meaning of governance as ‘steering and coordination of independent(usually collective) actors based on institutionalized rule systems’’. Treib et al (2005) asserted that the description of governance covers all three understandings of concept that has so far been presented in literatures. They emphasized that these different understandings depend on whether governance is seen belonging primarily to the realms of the three PSC (Politics, Policy and Polity).

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©