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State media are a government mouthpiece- Molefhi

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CLARIFYING: Molefhi

There are currently no intentions to wean the state media from government support because they promote and publicize government policies, Parliament has been told.

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Nonofo Molefhi said although not administered through boards like the South African Broadcasting Corperation (SABC) and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the departments of Information and Broadcasting services, that is, Botswana Television (Btv), Radio Botswana (RB1 and 2), Daily News and Kutlwano have a clear public service mandates of promoting government agenda, which “they carry out without interference from government.”

“The issue of whether or not the state media is impartial, accurate and trustworthy is a matter of perception that cannot be easily resolved without undertaking a comprehensive public opinion survey. I say this because not everyone is happy with the services rendered by the organisations cited by the Honourable MP as models that Botswana should emulate even though they are supposedly independent and run by boards,” Molefhi further stated.

He was responding to a question from Selebi Phikwe West member of Parliament, Dithapelo Keorapetse.

Keorapetse had asked Molefhi to state if there were any intentions to reform the state media into public media that is not financially and editorially controlled by the state and with an independent board such as the BBC and SABC.