Keeping our promise

TWO days from today, the Lesotho Times will quietly celebrate its second anniversary.

And what an exciting time it has been for all of us who make up the Lesotho Times family!

Over a relatively short period of 24 months, we have seen the newspaper grow into arguably one of the biggest brands in the Kingdom.

Without equivocation we can safely say the Lesotho Times is now a major reference point in the lives of Basotho.

The Lesotho Times has provided a platform for vigorous debate around the major issues that affect Basotho.

But sometimes we have rubbed people the wrong way.

This is to be expected.

We also acknowledge that there is still room for improvement.

But at the same time we are proud of what we have achieved thus far.

What makes this feat quite pleasing is that it has been achieved under sometimes very trying circumstances.

When the very first issue of the Lesotho Times hit the streets on April 17 2008 we said we were here to stay.

And we are proud to say that goal still remains.

We want to play our role as the media along with various other newspapers operating in Lesotho.

We acknowledge the role of our colleagues in the media no matter how small they might appear to be.

A multiplicity of voices is one of the keys to entrenching our young democracy.

As we mark our second anniversary, we must admit that most newspapers are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

Newspapers worldwide are battling against shrinking advertising revenue and declining readership.

As a result some newspapers have been left with no choice but to downsize operations and retrench staff.

Besides these challenges, newspapers are also facing stiff competition from new media such as online media.

Of course, new media such as online have not chimed the death knell for newspapers.

The reality, however, is that such media have eaten into advertising revenue.

It is against this background that we wish to thank our readers who have stuck with us over the years.

We could not have come this far without the tremendous support we have received from our advertisers.

We want to say a big thank-you to you all.

Former United States president Thomas Jefferson once said: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

The essence of the message is that while newspapers can sometimes be a nuisance to those holding the levers of power, they remain a “necessary evil” in society.

In our very first issue, we promised to play our part in fulfilling our sacrosanct role as a watchdog of society.

We believe our task is simple — keeping the mighty and powerful wherever they are on their toes.

Brick by brick, we will play our part in dismantling tyranny and corruption in society.

As we enter our third year, we will now shift attention to consolidating the gains we have achieved over the years.

In this regard, we have big plans in the pipeline to position the Lesotho Times as the biggest newspaper in the Kingdom.

Of course, we will be the first to admit that there are still challenges.

But the challenges are not insurmountable.

We shall prevail.

Our vision is to be the first with the news as we cover all the nooks and crannies of the Kingdom.

The Lesotho Times will continue to provide cutting-edge journalism in exposing corruption and promoting good governance.

We shall strive to provide scholarly, well-researched columns as well as thought-provoking opinion pieces.

Life need not be too serious at all times.

In this regard we pledge to provide a fair dose of humour to brighten your Thursdays.

We want to assure our readers that we are working flat out to achieve these lofty goals to offer you a better product on the market.

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