Lesotho Television is an insult to Basotho

I AM appalled and disgusted by the shoddy quality of Lesotho Television (LTV) programmes.
The television station has become a national embarrassment to Basotho.
As a result of its shoddy programmes the station has become the butt of endless jokes.
Foreigners who watch the station ridicule it, and for good reason!
It is no wonder that we often hear people say: “Viva mediocre Lesotho Television”.
After years of operation I am surprised that LTV still broadcasts for just four hours a day.
Why has the Ministry of Communications not improved standards at LTV? Television broadcasting in Lesotho was introduced in 1988 but it still looks as if it was introduced yesterday.
The camera personnel and sound engineers at LTV display frustrating incompetence.
Does this mean that the broadcaster is hiring unqualified personnel or is it the management that is incompetent?
Could it be that LTV is still relying on obsolete equipment?
Where is the taxpayers’ money going? Why is the station failing to recruit competent technicians?
There have also been concerns that journalists at LTV are poorly paid. Does this suggest that producers at the station are not motivated enough?
After everything has been said and done my assessment is that workers at LTV have not kept up to date with developments in the broadcasting field.
This is why their shows lack colour and vitality.
Those who are in charge at the station must take most of the blame for this mediocrity.
Their view on how a national broadcaster is supposed to run is uninformed, subjective and highly political.
Just watch LTV programmes. The sound and pictures are very poor. The outside broadcasting shows are worse.
For instance, I will focus on the choral show programme that is broadcast on Thursday, Litsoanya.
The presenters are pathetic as they demonstrate lack of basic training and creativity.
In my humble view there is no need for the show to have four to five presenters all at once.
The only thing that we see as a result is absolute chaos!
The programme is more of “mantloane”, (children’s play) than a decent choral show.
Even those who are passionate about choral music have been put off by the pathetic presentation.
The LTV has indeed become an embarrassment to the nation. I feel quite ashamed to tune in to LTV when my friends from abroad visit me.
The LTV news is predictable. Every time I tune in to the news I know I am going to hear about “workshops”.
If it’s not about workshops then it is about a government minister who is visiting overseas or a foreign dignitary who is visiting Lesotho.
Please give us a break!
There are numerous matters of national interest that are happening in Lesotho, like the MKM saga.
The National University of Lesotho is also struggling. The future of the nation is therefore at stake.
There are other issues happening in remote villages that are crying out to be reported and broadcast.
Tragically the LTV never covers such stories. They are happy and satisfied to cover workshops and ministers’ winding speeches.
Should we conclude then that LTV journalists are hopelessly incompetent or that the managing officers are the ones standing in the way of progress?
I will leave you to answer that question!
On Sunday I tuned in to LTV as usual and they were broadcasting King Letsie III’s 48th birthday.
To my horror LTV dedicated almost the whole day to covering the birthday. This is a disgrace.
We watched the birthday celebrations during the news and after the news we then watched a full coverage of the event in Berea.
In simple terms LTV forced us to watch the king’s birthday during the news and then after the news!
Yes there was nothing wrong in broadcasting the birthday but too much of everything becomes a bore.
It simply does not make sense to watch the same news clips for 30 minutes.
I am also not happy that LTV shows one person being quoted at length for more than 10 minutes.
This is worse when he is giving a speech. It becomes obvious that the station is just whiling away time to fill the 30 minutes allocated for the news.
The LTV must also demonstrate that it is a national broadcaster and not a mouthpiece for the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy party.
If the station is indeed for all Basotho it must give a voice to all Basotho regardless of their political orientation.
This means we need to
hear divergent voices on the
station and not just one side parroting the views of the ruling party.
The LTV must operate in
the interests of all Basotho. Their voices must be heard and aired.
Until we realign its mandate the LTV will continue to regurgitate the views of the ruling party at the expense of other voices.
This would be a national tragedy. The government must free the LTV to allow it to operate without undue influence.
They must improve LTV. It is the only television station that we have.

Moeketsi is a sub-editor on the Lesotho Times and Sunday Express

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