Broadcasters meet over poll coverage
early last year over the premier’s alleged failure to consult his fellow principals when making decisions with a bearing on good governance.
The squabbling prompted the signing of the Maseru Facilitation Declaration (MFD) by party leaders signed on 2 October 2014, which was brokered by the Southern African Development Community THE Lesotho Communications Authority (L (LCA) on Tuesday held a workshop for broadcastersbroad to address some of the challengeslenge they face in their operations.
ThisTh was the third workshop the LCA has held f for broadcasters, focusing on information ethics and peace-building.
TheT first was on compliance with broadcastingbr rules, while the second dealtd with election-reporting and media ethics.e
LCA Chief Executive Officer, Monehela Phosholi, on Tuesday told the broadcasters the Authority had embarked on the series of workshops to “correct some of the notable challenges such as lack of balanced and objective reporting, lack of professionalism in the handling of issues of national importance and perceived partisan reporting and coverage”.
“Since embarking on these workshops, the results have been mixed, with some improvements observed with certain broadcasters while a few have occasionally reverted to biased reporting in some of their programmes,” Mr Phosholi said.
“We are encouraged to observe programmes where panellists are drawn from people of different political orientations and an attempt is made for panellists to openly debate issues.
“However, some hosts, where controversial matters are debated, fail to take charge of their programmes and bring their guests to order.
“We are fully aware of the difficult times that the country is going through and the challenge that the media fraternity faces to uphold its professionalism, especially during these challenging times.
“It is for this reason that we have not despaired as the Authority but continued with our capacity-building efforts.”
Mr Phosholi further noted electioneering towards the 28 February elections is now in full swing, adding: “We remind broadcasters to use guidelines on Broadcasting Elections in Lesotho which we developed together way back in 2011 prior to the 2012 General Elections.
“We would also like to draw broadcasters’ attention to Section 169 of the National Assembly Electoral Act of 2011, which talks about statements that may mislead voters.
“Broadcasting is, without doubt, an important stakeholder in peace-building efforts. Let us make a commitment to do our utmost to contribute positively towards peaceful elections on 28 February and the peaceful co-existence of Basotho even after the polls.”
Basotho hold national elections two years early after a bitter fallout between the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and Basotho National Party (BNP) leaders, who formed a coalition government in June 2012.
LCA Chief Executive Officer Monehela Phosholi.