Lesotho
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MISA-Lesotho to professionalize media

By Mots’elisi Sekonyela

MASERU

The Media Institute in Southern Africa (MISA) Lesotho in an exclusive interview with this paper on February 16 through its Deputy Chairperson, Kananelo Boloetse said they have plans to restore the dignity of the media industry in Lesotho by facilitating the process of implementing lacking professional rules and regulations across all scopes of the sector.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Boloetse said they are going to achieve this by sensitizing the relevant stakeholders like the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) and the Ministry of Information, Communications, Science, Technology and Innovation on the imperative need to implement more stringent professional rules and regulation for the media industry.

Among other things, he said the areas that urgently need regulating include the caliber of reporters and broadcasters in all the media houses. He said media houses should employ only qualified professionals so as to give the public credible and ethical news and information.

The implementation of this rule he said will make it easier for them to also work on the agenda of regulating media wages. They aim to have standard salaries for all media practitioners which he said is essential in order to do away with the issue of having politically inclined media practitioners.

“One of the reasons that we find politically influenced media practitioners is because they are not well compensated and therefore become easily tempted by politicians’ bribes and end up pushing their agenda in exchange for money,” said Boloetse.

These he says are some of the efforts that could see the media industry of Lesotho match up to international standards of professionalism.

Boloetse said so far, through their efforts as MISA- Lesotho, LCA has implemented Broadcasting code, the government has adopted the Media Policy and there are progressing plans to have a Media Counsel.

However, he voiced his concerns over the pending national reforms, saying media is one sector that needs reforming the most in the country and it is unfortunate that the government does not take this as a matter of priority. He says the media has been battling to get included in the reforms for the past years, but were always met with resistance for reasons unknown to them.

He said this week the Prime Minister started having engagements with various sectors concerning the reforms and they are hopeful the media will also be engaged. However, Boloetse assured that should this not be the case and media gets sidelined in this procedure, MISA- Lesotho will be left no choice but to get to a point where it instructs all media to stop covering news relating to the reforms.

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