SINCE the turn of the year Scrutator has been enduring sleepless nights over who to award the big one in the 2008 Mediocrity Champions League.
The competition was so stiff — from clumsy copy to incredible gaffes to puerile instalments — that I have been wondering who deserves the coveted medal.
Scrutator appreciates how some of our journos worked their butts off last year to win the accolade.
But hold your breath . . .
Well, first it’s appropriate that I extend my sincere apologies to those pacesetters I might have unwittingly made to believe the 2008 mediocrity gong would be theirs to take home.
Now, let’s put our hands together for MISA-Lesotho.
Like the proverbial dark horse, MISA-Lesotho just ghosted in from nowhere to snatch the coveted award.
There are some who will be tempted to accuse me of rigging, but how else would I have known that MISA-Lesotho was keeping the best for the last?
I was initially sceptical about MISA-Lesotho’s sensational win as well until I read again the chapter’s contribution to the regional media advocacy group’s annual publication, So This is Democracy?
In fact, the donor money-gobbling chapter won hands-down and I will not tolerate any sore losers.
Scrutator’s verdict is final.
The MISA publication is, without a morsel of doubt, the most atrocious piece of writing that I have come across since little Tsosa’s English compositions in our Grade Three class.
You see, Tsosa used to write from right to left — yes, his sentences used to start from the other side.
The impunity with which the writer of that report mutilates the Queen’s language is terrifying.
The ideas are simply kindergarten.
Logic is virtually banished from the report as the writer wilfully expectorates on fact.
The writer pees on the very ethics they are unashamedly pretending to be advancing.
Because I am not one to fire volleys without provocation, I will quote at liberty from the report so that everyone can see how MISA is misdirected.
I want journalists to know that this chapter does not deserve our R30 subscriptions per year.
“The nature of exiting litigation suits show that we cannot have defamation laws exist with freedom of expression. Defamation nullifies freedom,” part of the horrendous report reads.
Apart from the wilful disregard of correct grammar, the sensibleness of the sentence is just not in attendance.
Are we being told that journalists are free to defame others in the name of freedom of expression?
What mass communication book did the writer read?
The report shows that either MISA-Lesotho does not understand its role in the media or the writer’s bootlicking antics went horribly wrong.
The result is a report brimming with blue lies, silly gaffes and Frankenstein ideas.
“MISA is a custodian of media freedom, but government wants to take the lead even though it has other interests, and they are not necessarily related to advancing media freedom,” gushes the report.
Since when did MISA become the custodian of media freedom?
It’s like saying the Roman Catholic, the Anglican Church or any other denomination is the custodian of Christianity.
There is more of this role thieving.
“Press cards are issued by government. It is felt that the MISA-Lesotho office should be entrusted with this activity.”
Seriously, how many times do I have to tell people that MISA is just an advocacy organisation and nothing else?
MISA is not a statutory institution like the Law Society of Lesotho.
“If a person claims they have been defamed, they should take it up with MISA,” the faux pas continues.
Why, MISA, why?
Since when has MISA become a Media Complaints Commission?
“Newspapers have to shut down because of these lawsuits,” the report waffles, pursuing the same ridiculous reasoning.
Newspapers here have closed because of bankruptcy.
It’s as simple as that.
The Mirror, for instance, did not close shop because it had been sued but it was simply too broke to exist a day longer.
The Watchdog just could not bark and the Southern Star simply failed to shine while The Age did not have the edge.
The Family Mirror was a hoax and everybody knows that.
None of them closed because they had been sued.
There are more lies, gaffes and self-serving compliments in the embarrassing report.
“Lesotho has the longest history of private media, since 1863,” we are authoritatively told without a shred of evidence being offered.
“While the sector is sufficiently skilled, there are concerns about capacity.”
Girls, this is poppycock of the highest order.
It is not a secret that our media industry has a serious human resources crisis.
Only a fool can deny this reality and no amount of misrepresentation by MISA can change the stubborn fact.
There is also the bit about the world believing that Lesotho has the “best printing facilities” that I found astounding.
What printing presses are here?
By the way, in that paragraph MISA reveals how they have serious problems spelling simple words.
Look how they write “fore” instead of “for”.
Remember these are the same people who are insisting on their signboard at Happy Villa that “deversity” is interchangeable with “diversity”.
The whole report is replete with gibberish and meaningless sentences.
“Reporters are attacked while covering political rallies on both sides.”
“By the same token the media polarises issues.”
“Numerous debates in private media so journalists are free.”
MISA-Lesotho, the gong is all yours!