State Media Strategises On Election Coverage

Date:

  • urged to leverage effectively on resources provided

The management team of the country’ public media this week convened at Maun Lodge to strategize on the coverage of the upcoming October 2024 general elections in a retreat organised by the Botswana Government, Communications and Information System (BGCIS).

Officially opened by the Minister of State President, Kabo Morwaeng, the retreat’s program entailed among others, presentation of election readiness plans by both the departments of broadcasting and information services as well as an election overview by the Independence Electoral Commission (IEC). 

Setting the tone of the retreat, Government Communications permanent secretary in the Ministry for State President, Montlenyane Baaitse said to deliver quality election coverage to the people there is need for planning, doing assessment of their strength and opportunities for improvement.

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

The permanent secretary told those in attendance that they have a common bottom line which is to deliver a well-executed 2024 general election coverage which promotes peaceful environment, informed citizenship, encourage dialogue and understanding while countering divulsive narratives. By doing this, she said they would have fulfilled their mandate to serve the public interest and foster the culture of peace and unity.

“To us as the public media service excellence during election time is nothing but ethical and fair reporting. Reporting scandals, overstatements and melodrama we do not subscribe to,” Baaitse stressed.

For his part, minister Morwaeng reminded members of the public media that their grasp of the nation’s vision and developmental journey is paramount hence it is imperative for them to craft a strategy that transcends ordinary coverage and delivers excellence in reporting the General Elections.  “Resources have been provided to you, and I have full confidence in your ability to leverage them effectively.”

The minister urged them to resist sensationalism amidst the passionate feeling of elections, where emotions run high and tensions fill the air. “Let’s remain steadfast in our commitment to truth and impartiality, exercise caution, diligence and unwavering dedication to accuracy on our reporting.”

The three-day long retreat was held under the theme, “From Headlines to Ballot Boxes: Unveiling the Role of the Public Media in Elections.”

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