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Seba Dereja Media and Communications PLC

Editorial Policy

An Overview

Seba Dereja Media and Communication PLC is the publisher of Addis Zeybe, an Ethiopian digital media platform that focuses on urban values and professionalism. Established in 2018, Addis Zeybe is contributing to the creation of a new media culture in Ethiopia, providing its growing audience with independent, reliable news in Amharic and English.

Based in Addis Ababa, its editorial team is responsible for the media platform’s journalism, research, and video output.

Addis Zeybe produces local news and has at least one freelancer in every one of Ethiopia’s 10 major cities. Affiliated to Addis Zeybe is a multilingual fact-checking initiative called HaqCheck, dedicated to countering disinformation in the media. The news outlet also has a research and development arm which works with the newsroom to generate impactful investigative reports.

Vision and Mission Statement

  1. Addis Zeybe constantly strives to publish reliable news and information about Ethiopia, focusing on both local and state issues.
  2. Our mission is to play a role in the democratization and development of the media of Ethiopia by reporting without fear or favour
  3. To provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them.

Core Values

  1. To encourage an honest and independent system of media in Ethiopia
  2. To remain impartial and non-aligned from political, religious, economic, ethnic or other considerations in our reporting. In this way, Addis Zeybe places value on general inclusivity
  3. To represent all urban spaces in Ethiopia
  4. To tell otherwise neglected stories
  5. To provide an accessible news outlet to the Ethiopian public that is relevant, reliable, and independent
  6. To encourage a media ecosystem which is a true reflection of the Freedom of the Press in Ethiopia

Social Obligations

  1. Addis Zeybe believes everyone has a right to freedom of expression
  2. Our reporting will be non-partisan, non-religious, and non-discriminatory towards any group
  3. Our coverage focuses on cross-cultural issues, urban agendas, and local politics from a variety of locations nation-wide
  4. Addis Zeybe will report on differing viewpoints on issues, as well as cover variety of topics
    • One of the ways Addis Zeybe achieves this is through a mobile journalism program that connects journalists from urban centers in Ethiopia

Professional Obligations

  1. Addis Zeybe maintains the highest standards of professionalism in its work
  2. Our coverage is always considered and thoughtful. We want to contribute to a wider public knowledge of events, politics, economics, and social systems in Ethiopia

Format and Design

  1. Our news is updated on our online platform,
  2. Addis Zeybe uses social media platforms to expand its reach (see below under “Social Media Presence” for more information)
  3. Content on these platforms remains free from opinion unless otherwise labeled

Role of Social Media

  1. Addis Zeybe maintains a strong presence on social media. These platforms will be used to further awareness of Seba Dereja Media’s reporting and activities.
  2. All commentary made on social media platforms by Addis Zeybe accounts and those of its employees will be in line with the editorial character and policies.

Editorial Objectives

Role of Editors

  1. It is the responsibility of the journalists and editors to uphold the impartial guidelines of Addis Zeybe.

Retractions and Errors

  1. In the interest of accuracy and reliable information, all reporting should be factually based and use dependable sources
  2. In the instance that an error is found, it is the duty of the editor to issue a retraction or correction as soon as possible to rectify it
  3. If changes are made to an online story that is not clear in the story’s text, the edit will be indicated at some point on the same webpage. This will usually be at the bottom of the story/ page

Content Decisions

  1. Editors shall make final decisions related to all content and materials that are published
  2. All published content will represent information and coverage that is of public interest to Ethiopians
  3. Topics and content will not be selected based on how it will positively or negatively affect an individual or group
  4. Content may include a combination of text, photos, and videos. Whenever multiple formats are utilized, they should all be representative and accurate to the main topic and not misleading
  5. Editorials will represent topical content, ideas, and opinions of Addis Zeybe journalists and editors. Such articles will be clearly labeled.
    • Any published editorials must be of public interest and well-researched, in addition to the opinions that they represent.
    • Editorials will not act as a basis for divisive, partisan, or ethno-nationalist discussion. Rather, they will invite intelligent discussion on important topics.
    • In the case that the editorial is controversial, the opportunity for relevant parties to reply will be respected (see below under “Opportunity to Reply” for more information).

Editorial Disagreements

  1. In the case of disagreement between editors and/or journalists over content to be published, the managing editor must make the final decision.
  2. All arguments in a disagreement must be taken seriously. In the end, the decision should relate back to Addis Zeybe’s goals and philosophies of being free, fair, and independent news for all Ethiopians.


  1. Editors will strive to avoid censoring content and voices.
  2. Relevant content should always be encouraged, and editors should never dissuade a journalist from certain reporting.
  3. Cases of expletives/obscenities, disturbing or graphic content (including text, photographs, and videos), will be used only if deemed appropriate.

Social Media Presence

  1. As a digital media outlet, Addis Zeybe is active on multiple social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin, Instagram and others. The Managing Editor will oversee these platforms, or will designate a reporter to head these.
  2. The content posted to social media pages will also adhere to the editorial policies and goals of Addis Zeybe.

Bylines and Crediting

  1. All credit to sources and any other contributions to content should be appropriately noted.
  2. Source anonymity will be respected when necessary and requested (see below under “Anonymity and Confidentiality” for more information).
  3. All journalists will be recognized with a byline for their pieces.
  4. All photos, videos, and other supplemental content will similarly be recognized with a byline.

Photography and Videography Policy

  1. Photography and videography that are published alongside text content or standalone will also follow the editorial guidelines and philosophies of Addis Zeybe.
  2. The impression or message endorsed through a photograph or video will be representative, not misleading, of the content to which it is meant to relate.
  3. Publishing a photograph or video requires the consent of the included parties.
  4. If any photo is edited or altered in any way before publishing, this must be indicated.

Code of Conduct

Journalists and editors must adhere to the highest standards of professional journalism at Addis Zeybe. The following is a set of guidelines to help direct the writing style and reporting done by Addis Zeybe.

Validity of Information

  1. Exhaustive efforts must be made to ensure that reported information is valid and reliable.
  2. No information reported should be misleading or misrepresentative of a person, body, or institution.
    • In this way, quotes, surveys, photos, and any other content format may not be altered or presented in a limited way so as to imply something alternate from the truth.
    • Intentionally hiding information that could implicate or exonerate a relevant party is unethical and will not be tolerated.

Identifying Oneself

  1. When gathering information, reporters must identify themselves as a member of Addis Zeybe.
  2. Exceptions to this are only for cases where identification would put a journalist in danger or would prevent factual reporting. Doing this must be approved beforehand.

Recording Interviews

  1. In cases where a journalist is recording an interview or phone conversation by audio device, the interviewee must be informed and give consent.
  2. Notes should always be taken to ensure that the story is factual. No pieces of relevant information shall be withheld, intentionally or unintentionally
  3. In cases where there is no audio recording, journalists must ensure that the quotes they take down are accurate.

Bribery and Payments

  1. Journalists and editors will not personally benefit from the coverage of an issue.
  2. Accepting a bribe is unethical and will not be tolerated.

Working with children and other vulnerable groups

  1. When journalists are working with children or victims of violence and other traumas, they should take extra caution for the feelings of those individuals.
  2. In the case of children, any quotes of theirs, or photographs or videos including them must be consented to by their parents or guardians.
  3. Groups including marginalized populations, victims of physical/emotional violence, and vulnerable persons must be treated with equal respect and dignity that anyone else would be afforded.
  4. Privacy of children and vulnerable groups is of utmost importance, unless specific consent is given.

Sourcing and Transparency

  1. We will always quote and report information from sources truthfully and accurately.
  2. We will always be honest regarding the pathways that lead to the information that is being reported, respecting confidentiality when needed.
  3. Whenever relevant, highlighting any possibility of a conflict of interest is important. This may include any kind of relationship the reporter or editor has with any relevant parties to a story, including those discussed or any sources.

Anonymity and confidentiality

  1. Any source that wishes to remain confidential will have their identity protected. Confidentiality of sources is fundamental to free and fair journalism and helps both the sources’ protection and Addis Zeybe's integrity.
  2. Sources that speak in a public forum using their name may be identified. Opportunity to reply

Opportunity to Reply

  1. Because Addis Zeybe deals with high-level politics, social issues, economics, and more, it is important to give all parties relevant to a story the opportunity to discuss their point(s) of View and experience(s). The opportunity to reply will always be honored when serious criticism against an individual or group is raised.
  2. In all cases, Addis Zeybe must be honest and fair to all relevant parties in order to remain impartial.
  3. All efforts should be made before a story is published to reach out to any relevant parties. In the event that the journalist is unsuccessful, there may be a request post-publishing for a reply. In this case, the editor should determine how relevant the response is and whether to publish it.


  1. Plagiarism is not tolerated.

Tone and Language

  1. Topics covered may be serious, contentious, or inflammatory in nature. But it is incredibly important to remain impartial.
  2. Derogatory, biased, or obscene language will not be allowed unless it is from a source and considered crucial to the story.
  3. Sexist, racist, ethnonationalist, ableist, anti-religious, and other offensive language will not be Tolerated.

Addis Zeybe Media and Communications PLC will regularly review and update these policies as necessary. These policies will continue to guide the reporting and journalism that fuels the work that Addis Zeybe undertakes.

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