June 18th 2021
ATT: All Media Houses
COVID-19 Media Relief Fund: PM Office Donates Food Parcels for Journalists
MISA Lesotho is pleased to announce that the Office of Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro has donated food parcels in contribution to the COVID-19 Media Relief Fund that MISA launched last year. The food parcels are 50 x 10kg bags of maize meal and 50 x 5kg packages of sugar beans. The food parcels will be distributed from today (Friday, June 18) to 50 journalists for this batch.
In a criterion determined by MISA Lesotho, first priority is given to journalists in the following order of categories:
1. Journalists who lost their jobs during and because of COVID-19
2. Journalists whose benefits were cut by their employers during and because of COVID19,
3. Journalists who lost their immediate family members because of COVID-19,
4. Journalists in the independent and private media sector, including community radio stations, and,
5. Journalists who are active members of MISA Lesotho
MISA Lesotho Working Committees are tasked to identify the journalists in the above categories, working closely with the office of the National Director. It is important to note that the food parcels contribution by the Office of Prime Minister comes as a second-round benefit for media practitioners from the COVID-19 Media Relief Programme. The first round was the disbursement of PPE to 40 mainstream media outlets on April 9th 2021, thanks to the Rotary Club of Maloti.
MISA Lesotho anticipates more rounds of benefits from potential partners in the programme, and the next batch of hundreds of journalists in Lesotho are yet to benefit. Meanwhile, plans are afoot by MISA Lesotho to launch the #Save_Our_Media campaign with partners later this year. The campaign is an arm of the COVID-19 Media Relief Fund aimed to popularise, amplify and accelerate the programme.
In December 2020, MISA Lesotho launched the Covid-19 Media Relief Fund with the intention to save the country’s media sector from the economic brunt resultant of the pandemic. A brief survey conducted by MISA Lesotho in 2020 showed how the media sector suffered from the chilling effects of the advent of Coronavirus.
Tens of media houses have cut their staff benefits, including monthly income. Others have retrenched media journalists, and in some instances, media managers have had to implement both salary cuts and retrenchments. At least one newspaper publication has since closed business altogether due to the pandemic. The situation could exacerbate with the third wave already knocking on the door.
Lekhetho Makhanya Ntsukunyane