Africa-Press – Lesotho. The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Lesotho Chapter is in “grave concern” over some “journalists” whose political party affiliations cloud their work as media
practitioners. This is according to the statement issued by the Institution. “MISA Lesotho issued this statement in grave concern over the growing rate of conduct by some “journalists” who actively meddle in the affairs of
political parties under the guise that they are doing their job as media practitioners, yet they are clearly to campaign for and against certain political parties openly on social media platforms, hoping for their own
personal gain. “These pseudo [false]-journalists, MISA Lesotho observed, are either used by some political elites to propagate political party differences on social media, or are active politicians
themselves masquerading as media professionals, abusing journalism as their channel into political recognition,” reads the institution’s statement in pertinent
part. Without naming them, the Institution said some of those “journalists” are working for the local radio stations. Their conduct, according to MISA, falls short of the professionals’ ethical
standards that govern the journalism industry. “They disregard and violate all ethical practices and conduct enshrined in journalism as they engage themselves in
political party differences on social media- behaving much like the foot soldiers for certain political elites. ” In the statement, MISA said this trend
of malpractice is growing at a “worrying rate” much to the institutions “disappointment”. The Institution further said it is perturbed by the fact that once “pseudo-journalists” have a
fall out in the political fights they go to MISA for intervention; a move which the institution worries over its name being dragged into “disrepute” as their
“umbrella in their personal political battles”. Coming down hard against the practice,
the Institution charges: “MISA Lesotho is not, and cannot be used as a scapegoat by politicians masquerading as journalists. “MISA Lesotho, therefore,
issues this public statement to distance the Institution from media practitioners who are unsure whether they are “journalists” or active politicians.
The Institute wishes to bring to the attention of the nation that not all journalists in the country are its members- MISA Lesotho membership is voluntarily.
” The Institution further highlighted that its membership is “stringently closed to active politicians” and also
distance itself from such “journalists” having political party ties. It went on to appeal to the media outlets, publishers, managers and editors to guard
against malpractice by some of their reporters saying that those who will be found in the profession it will initiate disciplinary measures against them.
Media is one of the seven thematic sectors earmarked to undergo the reforms. Some of the recommendations from the Multi-Stakeholder National Dialogue Plenary II Report published in 2019 is to
build a capacity of the media sector to be professional and ethical. Last week saw the first appearance of the National Reforms Authority (NRA)’s Media Reforms Committee laying out its
mission. “MISA Lesotho is proud of many Basotho journalists who remain resolute in adhering to ethical practice and conduct in their everyday duties. The
Institution cannot mince words condemning media practitioners doubling as active party politicians and using newsrooms for political recognition. ” MISA is an advocacy and lobby Institution which aspires for the media freedom, pluralism and diversity within the media industry.