Dagu: Its Nature, Attributes and Reporting Praxis

  • Jemal Mohammed Associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Communications in the Faculty of Humanities at Bahir Dar University


The Afar people are the largest pastoral society in East Africa living across three neighboring countries - Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. They have a giant traditional news network called Dagu. In most parts of the world, it is the news that goes to the target audience through channels of mass media. In the case of the Afar society, it is the person who goes to the news because every adult Afar is culturally expected to serve as a traditional newsman. The principal purpose of this study was to investigate the nature, characteristics and reporting praxis of this traditional news network so as to tap into Dagu’s latent communication potential. The research follows a comparative analysis. To gather the necessary data, an in-depth interview was used. The analysis and interpretation of the data disclosed that Dagu, as opposed to mass media, is a highly interactive and multi-way communication network, which serves the Afar society equally. The findings of the study also revealed that the Afars have unflagging enthusiasm to obtain fresh information, and regardless of being a traditional newsman, they have remarkable journalistic skills. Every Afar is a moving news medium. The study thus maintains that Dagu has more similarity to journalistic practices than to models of mass communication flows.


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