LAST weekend, the Lesotho Sports Reporters Association (LSRA) held its elections where veteran reporter Retšelisitsoe Makara was elected as president.
Sekoai Mahlaka was elected deputy while Boitelo Rabele was voted the secretary and yours truly is his assistant.
Thapelo Mabote and Tebalo Lebajoa were elected treasurer and the spokesperson respectively with Leemisa Thuseho, Reitumetsi Mabaleha and Matlhonolofatso Lebesa are committee members.
This was the LSRA’s second election since its inception in 2013. At inception, Makara was elected interim president and was deputised by Nthako Majoro.
When the association was formed, there was a clear plan and vision on what it was expected to cover. Mainly, it was meant to stand for the rights of sports reporters ensuring that their needs and rights are catered for.
But everything went south after Makara was dethroned in 2015 and Majoro took over.
Most of the members started losing interest in the association and eventually it died a natural death. Members stopped paying subscriptions and annual general stopped.
Fast forward to last month, sports reporters decided to unite and hold a special congress where Makara re-elected.
The truth of the matter is that there will always be resistance to change and some will always pull in different directions.
Local journalists are constantly faced with an array of challenges and sports reporters are no exception. Our committee must therefore race against time to ensure that its members are protected and recognised by federations across the divide.
Most local reporters earn paltry salaries which makes them vulnerable. The association must therefore come up with ways of intervening to change the statusquo.
Makara must also work to help journalists get recognition in the region and beyond by registering with the International Sports Press Association (AIPS).
Registering with AIPS will widen local reporters’ opportunities and make things easier for them when covering international competitions. Often, when journalists encounter problems at such events, AIPS intervenes but only when one’s local association is an affiliate.