Africa-Press – Lesotho. THERE is chaos in Lesotho’s radio stations. Presenters and managers are running helter-skelter. Some are having panic attacks. The reason for the bedlam is not some ghost, imminent financial troubles or the price of cooking oil.
It’s the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) which has announced that presenters should wash off their ignorance and incompetence or stay away from microphones.
The soap, says the LCA, is media training. The authority is not even asking for degrees. It just wants presenters to have six months of continuous media training with an accredited institution.
Radio journalists, the regulations say, should have two years of continuous media training with an accredited institution. It’s nothing outrageous. Just a little something to clean the presenters and journalists of their ignorance.
But even that small condition has triggered a brouhaha at some radio stations. Leading the shrieking battalion is that garrulous radio station owned by the Rastaman who eats meat.
This week, they trooped to parliament to bellow against the regulations which they said were targeting them. Theirs was a curious complaint on many levels.
First, they were unwittingly admitting that they hire unqualified people. Second, they were saying they don’t want their presenters to be cleaned of ignorance.
Third, they are saying all is well and there is no need for radio presenters to have some training. All of which reminds Muckraker of the daily village spectacle of mothers chasing their toddlers to bath.
The LCA is the mother and the radio stations the toddlers hostile to washing off their ignorance. There are some misdirected fellows who say you don’t need to be trained to be a radio presenter.
It is an argument based on ignorance of what it takes to be a radio presenter. Predictably, it comes from unqualified people. The idea that a radio presenter doesn’t need a media qualification or training is inane.
But Muckraker is not shocked by the hostility to training and basic knowledge. Books have teeth and they bite. Knowledge is an inconvenience because it gets in the way of reckless journalism, something our radio stations wholeheartedly believe is good for their business and the listeners.
They don’t want the pain of having to unlearn what they have been taught because they would immediately understand that they have been masquerading as radio journalists and presenters for years.
Muckraker has always known that most of our radio presenters and so-called radio journalists are presstitutes. A presstitute is a journalist who gives biased and predetermined views misleadingly tailored to fit a particular
partisan, financial or business agenda, thus neglecting the fundamental duty to report news impartially. That’s very close to that other profession. At least those are better because they don’t pretend to be doing something else. Our presstitutes will swear that they are journalists and reporters.