Media and local government
Lesotho held its first post-independence local government elections in 2005. Since then, however, the media has failed to report on, or provide information about, local government. This has contributed to lack of awareness among the public of the potential role and actual functions of various actors in Lesotho’s local governance system. With minimal citizen participation in local government, authorities are able to make decisions that do not have the support of the electorate.
In addition, media practitioners often poorly trained, or not trained at all which contributes to the lack of quality, ethical coverage of local governance issues. In turn, this results in a readership and listenership uneducated about local government and governance issues.
MISA Lesotho therefore seeks to increase citizen participation in local governance affairs by increasing both the quality and quantity of media coverage on the subject.
We do this by training journalists on local governance issues and how they can better cover such issues beyond simply reporting on local elections.
We also seek to stimulate local government institutions to make more active use of the media to inform the general public and actively engage the public in local governance matters. In this way, we can improve the environment for constructive engagement between citizens and local government on local issues.
MISA Lesotho has the following objectives with its media and local government programme:
- Build the capacity of journalists, community volunteer reporters, local government information officers and councillors, resulting in local governance having a higher media profile.
- Create a better educated readership/listenership of local governance, resulting in more people participating in local governance throughout Lesotho.
- Strengthen local structures to be more productive and improve service delivery.
Media and local government news from our chapters
Government’s stop on licenses halts community radio project
In 2015, MISA Lesotho, supported by Open Society Initiative in Southern Africa (OSISA), started assisting three communities to establish their own radio stations in a view to catalysing vibrancy in information exchange and debate for community development. The project...
Quthing community’s lively celebration of Press Freedom Day
On the 7th of May through rains and cold weather MISA Lesotho together with Quthing community commemorated World Press Freedom Day to mobilise the community to qualify for application for a community radio as per Communication Act 2012 (as amended). Quthing community...
Better access to information by founding community stations
MISA Lesotho held a one-day governance and management training workshops for the steering committees of the Quthing and Semonkong community radio stations in February 2016. The workshops are part of a series of capacity building initiatives aimed at empowering the...
MISA Lesotho launches Moeling FM community radio station
Media Institute of Southern Africa Lesotho chapter (MISA Lesotho) has marked the commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day with the launch of Butha-Buthe Community Radio; Moeling FM in the Butha-Buthe district in the north of the country. The radio station is the...