Morwaeng calls for responsible journalism

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Morwaeng calls for responsible journalism
Morwaeng calls for responsible journalism

Africa-Press – Botswana. In a bid to ensure fair and balanced reporting as Botswana gears up for the much-anticipated 2024 general elections, Minister for State President, Mr Kabo Morwaeng addressed members of the public media during a management retreat organised by the Botswana Government, Communications and Information System (BGCIS).

Mr Morwaeng implored the media to uphold the nation’s values, support democratic development, and prioritise truthful, fair, and balanced election coverage. He emphasized that the media’s role goes beyond reporting news; it is also about safeguarding Botswana’s essence as a beacon of democracy and good governance.

Highlighting the significant influence of the public media in Botswana, the Minister stressed the importance of responsible journalism, deep understanding of the electoral process, and thorough fact-checking. He reminded media practitioners that in a successful democracy, the media plays a crucial role in shaping perceptions and guiding progress.

Urging media workers to stay disciplined and focused, Mr Morwaeng underlined the necessity of understanding the nation’s vision and developmental journey. With the 2024 elections presenting new challenges, he emphasized the importance of collaboration, resource sharing, and aligning narratives among departments.

Participants at the retreat were called upon to craft a strategy that goes beyond ordinary coverage and promises excellence in reporting the upcoming elections. Mr Morwaeng expressed confidence in the resources available, expecting that they would be utilized effectively to deliver outstanding coverage.

As emotions and tensions rise in anticipation of the elections, the minister advised media practitioners to resist sensationalism and instead uphold their duty as servants of the public, champions of unity, and agents of peace.

He reminded them of the powerful impact their words and images can have on society, emphasising the irrevocable nature of once spoken words. Lefoko gale boe go boa monwana… therefore let’s remain steadfast in our commitment to truth and impartiality, exercise caution, diligence and unwavering dedication to accuracy in our reporting,” he said.

Minister Morwaeng urged media practitioners to embrace the technology that allowed for multi-faceted coverage across various platforms.

He emphasised upholding of the principles of accuracy, relevance, clarity, and depth in storytelling as well engaging all stakeholders fairly to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive narrative reflecting the diversity of the nation.

The retreat is held under the theme: From Headlines to Ballot Boxes: Unveiling the Role of the Public Media in Elections.”

Mr Morwaeng said the media was embarking on a journey that transcended mere reporting, but delves deep into the heart of the democracy, adding that a successful democracy as ‘ours’, the public media’s role was akin to that of a conductor, coordinating social order and harmony.

Setting the tone of the retreat, Government Communications’ permanent secretary, Ms Montlenyane Baaitse said the meeting attracted media leadership from various departments to review and assess their readiness levels to cover the 2024 General election.

The relationship between the media and civic stability, she said was more intricate and profound, especially around this time, and such meant they could not take the clarion call without planning and doing an assessment of their strengths and opportunities for improvement, if they really want to deliver quality election coverage to Batswana.

“The strength of our democracy, the stability of our communities, and the vibrancy of our civic life are intricately linked to the freedom, integrity, and above all, responsible media. We stand at a pivotal moment in history where the power of media technology is reshaping both the narrative and the landscape of electoral processes and democracy itself,” he said

As we approach the upcoming elections, we cannot overlook the transformative impact the technology has had on how we engage with our political environment to make decisions, and exercise our civil rights,” she added.

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