Media and elections
Live Simultaneous Election Broadcast for Professional Reporting
In the recently held National Assembly Election on the 3rd June, 2017, MISA Lesotho with the support of Open Society Initiative in Southern Africa (OSISA), embarked in a rather innovative initiative titled Multi-media Election Reporting Project. The project comprised of training of journalists and coordinated trainees in reporting the elections through 12 radio stations Live Simultaneous Election Broadcast (LSEB).
LSEB occurred through deployment of 40 journalists – four in each of the 10 districts of Lesotho – who reported electoral process live through MISA Lesotho broadcasting studio. This style of the election broadcast was first done during the second Lesotho snap elections in 2015 as MISA Lesotho contribution towards peaceful holding of the elections in the troubled country of two million people.
Owing to turbulent political situation under which the elections were held, it was obvious that media houses in the country were overwhelmed and ended up taking clear political lines which compromised the electorates’ freedom to make independent political choices through unbiased reports.
The LSEB was designed to ensure that during the six election reporting hours, elections report were carried a by a team of well trained journalists on the electoral code of the media so as to achieve provision of credible and none politically polarised election.