19.07.2011 - UNESCO

Broadcasting regulation workshop is taking place this week in Lesotho

Mannete Ramali, Minister for Tourism, Environment and Culture, opening the workshop / © Elizabeth Smith

A five-day training workshop started yesterday in Maseru, Lesotho, to promote existing legal and regulatory frameworks covering broadcasting regulation during election periods, as well as election coverage by broadcasters. This workshop for journalists and the Lesotho Communications Authority is taking place from 18 to 22 July 2011.

Broadcasters and regulators play an integral part in ensuring that voters and citizens are well informed during election periods. It is imperative that broadcasters convey a balanced and accurate picture of the political candidates, parties and their agendas. A regulator has an obligation to monitor broadcasters’ output rigorously in order to respond to complaints. By using the CBA/UNESCO Guidelines for Broadcasting Regulation, the training workshop in Lesotho aims to prepare staff of the national regulator and journalists for the upcoming local and parliamentarian elections in the country.

The workshop focuses on the regulatory regime in Lesotho, best broadcasting practices during elections, principles of election coverage and complaints handling. The training is being carried out by Elizabeth Smith, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, in cooperation with the Lesotho Communications Authority, MISA Lesotho and the UN System in Lesotho.

It is expected that this workshop will positively influence broadcasting practice in the country in order to ensure high professional standards and, consequently, reduce the number of broadcast complaints during election periods. The project aims to contribute to the creation of a legal, policy and regulatory framework, based on international best practice standards and developed in participation with the civil society, which will protect and promote freedom of expression and information.

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