programmes broadcast on private radio stations, as callers can choose to remain
anonymous and thus protect themselves.
Self-censorship is a way of life for journalists working for the state media. They
quickly learn how to report in a way that excludes any content that might be
deemed taboo, before their articles even reach the Editor’s desk. There is no
hesitation on the part of the Government officials to phone a newsroom and relay
instructions that directly impact on content. The private print media is constantly
aware of the threat of the withdrawal of advertising by Government and tends to
report on issues with kid gloves.
The awareness of and belief in an individual’s right to free expression tends to
be more pronounced among people living in Maseru and other urban areas.
Culturally, there is “a Sesotho way of speaking” which makes certain sensitive
topics taboo, and which prohibits people from calling an elderly and/or highly
respected person names, irrespective of how bad that person might be.
In spite of the challenges faced by the media, the print industry has grown and
there is greater competition between media houses which has resulted in improved
standards. Although politics dominates the headlines, the media is attempting to
cover more diversity of issues.



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