It gives me great pleasure to officiate at this workshop whose objective is to capacitate political and parliamentary Journalists. First and foremost, allow me to congratulate US Embassy Lesotho in collaboration with MISA Lesotho for having organized this remarkable workshop ahead of the 2022 General Polls.
Elections are very crucial in every democratic country yet very delicate matter if not handled well. It goes without saying that this workshop is essential in terms of allowing Journalists to familiarize themselves with different political parties manifestoes for their understanding and to establish how best information is disseminated in line with the different party manifestoes using simplicity in communication.
Moreover, I believe participants will also learn more tactics that are meant to enable you deliver messages around political parties manifestoes without fear or favor, nor discriminating any political party. This unpacking workshop will in return help the media to give the society a clear description of what each party represents and understand its principles and values.
Above all, Distinguished guests I am convinced that the anticipated 2022 National Elections will come at the right time when National Assembly adopted the National Media Policy in November this year. This is an indication of Government’s Commitment through the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology (MCST) to ensure an enabling environment for journalists to do their work without intimidation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We should note that Political and parliamentary reporting is a specialized area of news reporting which requires maturity in reporting. This is an incredibly important time to be a journalist. Never has the watchdog role been important. We are moving towards implementing our media policy which strongly advocates for application of ethical standards in reporting news.
BO ‘MÉ LE BO NTATE
The media particularly political Journalists should understand the key role they play in line with Mass Communication Theory known as Hypodermic Needle Theory (HNT), this means that political journalists can cause danger if they fail to provide relevant information. However, if they give the correct information to the audience, they have power to change and transform the image of Lesotho for the better, especially now when we are in the process of building “The Lesotho We Want,” through reforms that are ongoing in our country. I encourage you all to choose the right needle for Basotho, which is correct information, fairness, transparency and above all avoid being biased in your reportage.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
As the theme indicates it is equally important for politicians to avail information for reasons of transparency and accountability. This cannot be realized if there is lack of understanding on how the government and political parties work, including their concepts, approaches, principles and values. “A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.’’ James Madison once said.
Baphatlalatsi ba litaba tsa lipolotiki, lona bohle ba teng ka koano le ba sieo, elelloang bohlokoa ba lona litabeng tsa sechaba haholo tsa lipolotiki. Ke lona mahlo le litsebe tsa sechaba, nakong ena e hlokolosi eo naha e itokisetsang likhetho tse akaretsang isao. Ha re tsóareng litaba ka makhethe, etsoe leano la bophatlalatsi le satsoa fetisoa ke paramente ea lesotho le totobatsa ka matla ho tlaleha litaba ka ntle ho tsékamelo efe kapa efe, ekasitana le letsuka la lipolotiki tsa mekha le makhotla.
Let me at this juncture quote one of my friends in the name of Dr Ben Carson where he says:
“I believe we are all capable of performing.
Miracles.” This is quoted from his book “The
At this juncture allow me to convey my gratitude to the Embassy of the United States in Lesotho for funding this important workshop. I am aware that it is not the first time, as they funded the political leaders workshop in November 2021. Let me also sincerely thank the organizers of this workshop and take this opportunity to wish you nothing but the best of luck throughout Christmas season and a blessed New Year.
I declare the workshop officially opened and wish you all fruitful deliberations.
KHOTSO! PULA! NALA!