Broad­cast­ers meet over poll cov­er­age

Lesotho Times - - Elections 2015 - Lim­phoLimp Sello

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.

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