The Monitor :: Let's Wait And See!
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Last Updated
Tuesday 18 September 2018, 13:48 pm.
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Let's Wait And See!

After all is said and done, it boils down to whether the President can deliver on promises he made to the media and the nation at large.
By Monitor Editor Mon 04 Jun 2018, 11:47 am (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Let's Wait And See!








Last Wednesday marked an important and simultaneously very interesting chapter in the media fraternity. It was the day President Mokgweetsi Masisi called a press conference and accorded media houses an opportunity to listen to his roadmap, and ask questions, not only to him, but to his entire Cabinet.

This  is  indeed a welcome development since former president, Ian Khama, never showed interest in presenting the Fourth Estate such an opportunity. The media was of course, very thirsty for such an interaction, understandably so. Yes, the day came, and Mass Media Complex Auditorium was packed to the rafters, as many journalists and editors wanted to hear first hand what Mr. Masisi had in store for the nation.

When addressing the media, he made a number of interesting promises, perhaps, the best being access to information, which is one of the major thorns that the private media has been grappling with.

The efforts to introduce legislation on access to information in Botswana dates back to as far as 1997 as a recommendation of the Presidential Task Group for a Long Term Vision for Botswana report titled ‘Towards Prosperity for All’ (Vision 2016 Commission, 1997). In 2010, a Freedom of Information Bill (FOI) was presented to Parliament. The Bill was to pave way for a FOI Act, which to date is still not yet finalised.

There have been many discussions, especially from media

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houses and journalists as a way to put pressure on the government but so far their efforts have been fruitless. Now comes the President who promises that this issue alongside other challenges that the nation faces will be solved. Who wouldn’t be happy to hear those words?

Yes, there are those who felt disappointed by the journalists who attended the press conference that they did not ask questions they would have wanted answers for.

People who have attended training; either locally or across the globe will bear witness that trainers always emphasise that no question is a stupid question. This means individuals should have the freedom to ask questions without fear of being judged.

Following the press conference, the Fourth Estate was blasted for asking ‘below par’ questions, with some rushing to the defence of the media on the basis that there hasn’t been a Presidential briefing in the last decade.

One question that arises from all this is: Did the individuals bother to listen to Masisi’s speech or to fulfil their interests they felt the journalists should have ignored the speech and asked their questions anyway? Are we such a dismissive nation, who rush to repudiate without facts.

Isn’t it important to listen to the government roadmap, so that we can either criticise or applaud based on whether the government lives up to its promises or not?

 

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Editorial
Mon 04 Jun 2018, 11:47 am
Mon 28 May 2018, 11:47 am
Mon 21 May 2018, 11:41 am
Mon 14 May 2018, 11:56 am
Mon 07 May 2018, 11:38 am
Mon 30 Apr 2018, 11:01 am
Mon 23 Apr 2018, 11:55 am
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Mon 26 Mar 2018, 11:49 am
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