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Lesotho Times journalist wins award

The prize was awarded by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Lesotho Chapter under its Monitoring the Media Reporting on Elections project. Lesotho Times political editor, Bongiwe Zihlangu, also walked away M1 500 richer after she came second in the print journalist who covered most election stories category. The first prize was awarded to Public Eye’s Billy Ntaote.

MoAfrika FM won the award for the electronic media house that covered most educational stories. Speaking at the award giving ceremony at Lehakoe Recreation Centre, Communications Minister Tšeliso Mokhosi said local media positively contributed to the peaceful outcome of the May 26 election.

“The political tolerance we have had is thanks to the good reporting that was done by the journalists and their media houses. You have contributed to the success of the National Assembly election. “You therefore deserve the awards you are getting today,” Mokhosi said.

He said journalists have persisted doing their work even under harsh situations.

“We know that you work under difficult situations where you are threatened. Your work is even harder in the absence of a media policy and I promise to work on it as soon as possible,” he said.

Mokhosi said the government was committed to the training and development of journalists to help them improve their work.

Misa deputy chairperson Qamako Mahao said the work of journalists in the past election contributed to the post-election peace and stability.

“It has been a while since we last had a smooth transition after general elections.

“That could be attributed to the kind of professional reporting we have had,” Mahao said.

Misa Lesotho said the objectives of the project were to evaluate how media houses in Lesotho covered elections and to assess the level to which the media adhered to provisions of the relevant laws in the management of the elections.

It also sought to determine the extent to which media organisations followed their policies regarding reporting on elections and to identify successes and challenges faced by the media during the coverage of elections.

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