In an effort to support and empower media in Lesotho, The Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) had convened a seminar for Editors Forum of Lesotho (EFL).
The seminar was aimed at discussing issues of professionalism in the media, declining ethical practice, monitoring compliance with media professional and ethics, as well as broadcasting regulation and journalistic accountability.
Speaking during the seminar, the EFL Deputy Chairperson, Mr Lawrence Keketso said Lesotho’s media used to be the best in Southern Africa, but that declined after the ushering of multi-party democracy, as to non-media players came in and took decision for local media.
He said the decline is also attributed to lack of leadership in media houses, adding that there should be checks and balances after reporters file stories in the newsrooms.
Mr Keketso further stated that, media houses should also introduce the proper and effective audits, as that would assist media houses to identify problems and to even seek assistance where necessary.
He also indicated that media houses need to have linkages with training institutions such as Institute of Extra Mural Studies (IEMS) and Limkwonkwing University of Creative Technology. He said that would make attachments of students in media houses more formal.
He said editors should think deeply about introducing gate-keeping and formalizing entry into the media profession.
Speaking at the same occasion, Mr Mzimkhulu Sithetho said there is a great challenge of non-compliance in media practices in Lesotho.
He said non-compliance results in loss of confidence of consumers in the content presented by reporters. He said that lead to decline in sales, loss of advertising, decline in revenue, retrenchment of staff and shutting down of newspapers.
Mr Tsiu Tsiu from Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) stated that normative ways of regulating media can be through state regulation, independent regulator, co-regulation, self-regulation and in-house code.
He said LCA’s mandate and responsibility is to empower and protect consumers.
The broadcasting sector in Lesotho, he said, is small but growing fast particularly the private and commercial stations.
He said so far, LCA has licensed one public broadcaster, 12 private, one commercial and one community radio stations.
The seminar was attended by editors from various local newspapers, radio stations managers and media trainers.