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Committee calls for implementation of media reforms

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Bereng Mpaki

THE technical committee on media sector reforms has a mammoth task of ensuring the timely implementation of the media reforms spelt out in the Multi-Stakeholder National Dialogue Plenary II Report of 2019, committee chairperson Nkoale Tšoana has said.

Mr Tšoana was addressing the media reforms technical committee of the National Reforms Authority (NRA’s) first virtual meeting on Tuesday. The meeting was also used to unveil the rest of the committee members.

Veteran journalist and media expert Mzimkhulu Sithetho is the special advisor to the technical committee while television broadcaster ‘Mapitso Tšiu is the media committee clerk.

Other members of the technical committee are Lefulesele Rammina, Thabang Mokuena, Refiloe Khomari, Senate Letsie and Letsoatsoa Putsoa.

The NRA is an independent authority established by the National Reforms Authority Act, 2019 to manage, coordinate and lead the reforms process in the implementation of the resolutions and decisions of the second plenary of the reforms process. It is expected to promote stakeholder consensus and national stability, unity and reconciliation.

The NRA was established to among other things, appoint technical committees in each of the seven thematic areas of constitutional, parliamentary, security sector, judicial, public sector, economic and media sector reforms. The committee is expected to have finished it work by October this year.

The technical committee on the media sector reforms is mandated with exercising oversight over the implementation of the media reforms and report progress to the NRA.

“The technical committee on media reforms has a mammoth task of ensuring the implementation of the media reform recommendations spelled out in the Multi-Stakeholder National Dialogue Plenary II Report published in 2019,” Mr Tšooana said.

He said his technical committee must consider more than 15 recommendations among them:

  • To establish effective and independent media and communication institutions that execute their mandates as expected by society;
  • To build the capacity of the media sector to perform its fiduciary duties effectively, professionally and ethically, as expected by society;
  • To protect the sanctity of the media profession, which will be brought about by ethical and professional conduct and practice;
  • To promote contribution of the media sector to the development and reform agenda of Lesotho;
  • To promote the role of the media in the democratic consolidation project of Lesotho;
  • To promote governance on the internet for social media compliance; and
  • To develop effective legislative & policy frameworks for the local media.

Mr Tšooana also called on the media fraternity to fully participate in the media reforms process to ensure their success.

“The technical committee on media reforms therefore, invites you (the media fraternity) to participate in the media reforms and the entire reforms agenda of Lesotho. The reforms are a conscious effort by the government to promote stability, build national consensus, and promote unity and reconciliation among a divided nation of Basotho. It is a national project meant to create a Lesotho that Basotho want. As media players, we have a majestic and catalytic role to play to promote success of the reforms.

“The technical committee therefore, pledges to constantly provide you with fresh information on the progress on the reforms. I appeal to you to take initiative and support the reforms agenda,” Mr Tšooana said.

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