Professionalise LTV

Professionalise LTV

Today, traditional media is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. This is because on the one hand they are expected to offer current affairs and remain relevant in an era when technological advancement is at its zenith. On the other hand, social media such as Twitter and Facebook are powerful agents of change and are also very influential.
When it comes to traditional media in Lesotho, the SADC Gender Protocol Barometer of 2018, states that in Lesotho, while the Constitution does not directly mention press freedom, it guarantees freedom of expression and information exchange.

However, multiple laws, including the Sedition Proclamation No. 44 of 1938 and the Internal Security (General) Act of 1984 prohibit criticism of government, gives penalties for seditious libel and endangers reporters’ ability to protect the confidentiality of their sources.

The laws quoted here are all older than 30 years. In fact when they were developed the hype and escalation of the social media platforms was unknown. At present we have Facebook “wreaking havoc” in the country and keeping the government on its toes all the time.
The government, instead of developing relevant legislation that would ensure social media reports are responsible and legit, resort to threats and intimidation, an act that has so far not yielded any positive results.

As a country we have only one television station that is owned by the government. The problem with our national television is that it lacks professionalism so much that sometimes one can gethypertension just from watching it.
The lack of unprofessionalism ranges from the volume that automatically adjusts itself to the confusing of people’s names. If you want to see an ordinary Mosotho tagged as his Majesty the King Letsie III you should look no further than our national television.

The other day I read on the news making headlines around the world “…. Happened in the town of Greece in Athens.” We watch TV with our children and these kinds of mistakes are really not acceptable because the children might think there is indeed a country called Athens as they saw it on the national television.

Just last week I was watching the Thahameso programme when two presenters were peddling a rumour regarding the issue of hikes that is a bone of contention in neighbouring South Africa.
I first read the rumour about the alleged “police brutality, lack of compassion and harassment” of Basotho who visit that country when travelling with their relatives. When something is written on Facebook, we usually take it with a pinch of salt because it is not all the time that social media reports are legit.

However, when we hear something on television, especially the country’s only television station, we believe it has been thoroughly investigated, and authenticated. We are not expecting to see a presenter peddling unfounded rumours that they have not taken their time to find if they are true.
I urge the presenters to go to relevant authorities in both the Republic of South Africa and in Lesotho to actually get to the bottom of why Basotho are being “harassed” as they claim. The presenters should stop feeding us half-baked stories that they read on social media.

They should go out and find true stories that will benefit Basotho, not rumours that confuse them.The issue of “hikes” is not a small matter and should be attended to with the professionalism and seriousness it needs so that Basotho know why they are not allowed to travel with people they pick on hiking spots such as the garage at the border gate and near the Ladybrand and Bloemfontein junction.

The hiking business is not only dangerous to the hikers, but the vehicle owners as well. I challenge the two presenters that were pushing the rumour on national television to go back to the drawing board, investigate the story fully and give the people correct information as it can save many lives and headaches. They should remember that people trust what they hear on television.

By: Kelello Rakolobe

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