Though Ethiopia remains one of the least connected countries globally, digital media plays a crucial role in the lives of the country’s online audiences. Digital media has flourished recently as many users rely on it to consume news and information. However, it has faced criticism for exacerbating political polarization, inciting conflicts through misinformation and disinformation, and spreading hate speech.
By employing a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods, this research report gives a comprehensive assessment of the digital media landscape in Ethiopia, focusing on the burgeoning digital media audience and key information providers. A total of 429 respondents from three areas namely Addis Ababa, Adama, and Gondar participated in the survey, which also included 18 key informant interviews with content creators and a total of five group discussions.
Some of the study’s findings indicate that Ethiopian users spend 2 to 4 hours daily on digital media, mainly accessed through smartphones. Additionally, online misinformation is widespread, and platforms like Telegram, and websites are more trusted while Facebook is the most used but least trusted platform. The study also revealed that digital content creators largely target youth audiences with a higher proportion of male users.