Vol. 2 No. 2 (2023): Vol 2, Iss 2, Year 2023

Comparative sentiment analysis of grand renaissance dam controversy in Egyptian and Ethiopian newspapers

Fedaa Mohamed
Assistant Professor of Journalism, Faculty of Mass Communication, Ahram Canadian University, Egypt

Published 2023-12-31


  • Sentiment Analysis; Grand Renaissance Dam; GERD; Controversy; Ahram Online; The Reporter; News Coverage.

How to Cite

Fedaa Mohamed, “Comparative sentiment analysis of grand renaissance dam controversy in Egyptian and Ethiopian newspapers”, ijp, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 35–47, Dec. 2023.


Through a 3-year period of content analysis, this study compares predominant sentiments, stakeholder portrayal, framing techniques, and prevailing tone in Egyptian ‘Ahram Online’ and ‘The Reporter’ Ethiopian newspaper coverage of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) controversy. Despite the relatively extended, ongoing nature of GERD negotiations, throughout the last 3 years, 2020 – 2023, representing the time frame of the current study, the news coverage of both the Ethiopian and Egyptian media has portrayed the sentimental pillars of controversy in a contemporary manner.
The results revealed that Ahram Online, the Egyptian newspaper, predominantly conveys a positive sentiment, echoing Egypt's focus on diplomacy and negotiation to resolve the Grand Renaissance Dam dispute, fostering an optimistic and cooperative tone. Conversely, 'The Reporter,' an Ethiopian newspaper, exhibits varying sentiments over time, with positive portrayals of Ethiopia's perspective on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and negative sentiments concerning external actors and evolving Egypt-Ethiopia tensions.
Ahram Online portrays Egypt as advocating for its water rights and comprehensive agreements, emphasizing diplomacy and casting Egypt positively. 'The Reporter' presents Ethiopia as dedicated to its development, emphasizing the GERD's importance while critically covering external stakeholders.
Both newspapers employ framing techniques. Ahram Online emphasizes cooperation, regional stability, and responsible water use, framing the GERD issue positively. 'The Reporter' highlights Ethiopia's historical challenges and the urgency of the GERD project while critically framing external actors.
Al-Ahram's tone remains optimistic and cooperative, emphasizing diplomatic solutions. 'The Reporter' exhibits varying tones, including optimism, urgency, skepticism, and negativity, reflecting Ethiopia's perspective and concerns about external actors and evolving tensions.


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