Govt says state media gets people’s vote
GOVERNMENT| March 29, 2012, 9:56 a.m.
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
State-owned broadcast media in Botswana is getting a thumbs up from the general public, who prefer information from the government news portal to independent media and the internet.
During the recent debate in Parliament on the status of the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) it was observed that the media outlets falling under the said Department, Botswana Television (BTV), Radio Botswana Chanel 2 (RB2) and Radio Botswana (RB1), enjoy the highest levels of domestic public confidence.
The point was made by the Mokgweetsi Masisi, as the Minister responsible, who further reported that a 2012 public perception survey, based on a representative sample, had found that 74% of Batswana trust DBS media to provide them with credible news and information.
The same survey reveals that “the public trust levels for our state supported news media in general, that is the Daily News as well as BTV, RB2 and Radio Botswana, remain higher than the corresponding figures for the private press, both electronic and in print.”
the Minister had further observed that the 74% trust rating in DBS means that public confidence in his Department is among the highest in the world. In this respect it compares favourably with European public broadcasters who are often cited as global benchmarks.
Further quantitative support for Masisi's statement can be found in the Centre for International Media Ethics (CIME) 2011 Public Trust Survey of global media, which was released this month. The CIME Survey found that the majority of people on all continents were skeptical of their broadcast news, with an average of no more than 9% of those surveyed on any continent expressing "a lot of trust" in their TV news and 12% in their radio news. By contrast 51% of Batswana in the domestic survey expressed "a lot of trust" in DBS current affairs.
The positive numbers for BTV and Radio Botswana should not come as a complete shock, as they are consistent with past surveys that together suggest longstanding institutional trust in DBS among Batswana. In this respect a 2005 public perception survey, which asked the same questions as the 2012 survey, found 72% trust in DBS, with 44% then expressing "a lot of trust." Whereas 7% claimed to have no trust in DBS media in 2005, the corresponding figure for 2012 was less than 1%.
In other words, notwithstanding the intensity of negative criticism that both BTV and Radio Botswana news have been subjected to from some quarters in recent years, their public confidence levels have modestly strengthened.
One thing that has changed, however, is the remarkable growth of TV viewership. Whereas in 2005 43% of Batswana sourced their news from television at least a few times a week, with 27% watching TV news on a daily basis, in 2012 the weekly figure has risen to 92% with a massive 70% getting their news daily from TV.
The 2012 Survey further reports that TV is the preferred source of news for 38% of Batswana, followed by 33% for radio, 17% for newspapers and 11% for the internet.
In the words of Minister Masisi at Parliament: "We have a public broadcaster that operates by certain rules, we have programmes in place, and it has served us well."
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
Gabon to deliver e-visas, launches immigration websitePeople wishing to travel to the Central African nation of Gabon can now apply for visas online. Read More
Break-ins threaten Mascom Kitsong centre projectAs Mascom Wireless embarks on its fourth year of bringing ICT to the marginalised people of Botswana, Mascom says the greatest impediment to their efforts are the break-ins that are rampant at the Kitsong establishments. Read More
DRC govt cuts internet, SMS to quell deadly protestsAfter a week of deadly protests in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that left at least 42 people dead, people in this troubled Central African nation are still scrambling to connect to the internet and send SMSes. Read More
Computerised driver testing grounds: another first for BotswanaBotswana will see another first this week in the form of computerised driver testing, which will be launched in Gaborone on Friday 23 January. Read More
Digital policing: Lagos builds 100 ICT centres for policeLagos State Governor Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has begun handing over 100 Information Technology Centres to police stations in the state, with two stations in the Ogudu Police Area Command. Read More
Census counts technology as key in agricultureTechnology development and transfer has been identified as key in the agricultural sector of Botswana, and has been selected as one of the key components of the forthcoming census. Read More
Senegal’s national digital strategy in spotlight at ICT forumSenegal’s national digital strategy is expected to be discussed at a high-level ICT forum due to take place on Thursday 22 January 2015 at the King Fahd Palace in the capital Dakar. Read More
Togo capital city to become Wifi ZoneLomé, the capital city of West Africa’s tiny Togo is about to become a Wifi Zone. Read More
Mozambique, SA parks collaborate using digital radio system to combat poachingMozambique’s Ministry of Tourism and South Africa’s Peace Parks Foundation are collaborating in a 2.1 million Euro project, which includes a digital radio network upgrade, to combat rhino poaching. Read More
Local Authority body guns for technology among councilsThe Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) has embarked on an ambitious project to bring technology to local municipalities and councils. Read More
FEATURED STORYUCC launches 2015 ACIA awards
Uganda has launched the fifth Annual Communications and Innovation Awards, which celebrate and foster ICT innovation and achievement.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya’s digital TV battle hots up
Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.
COMPANY NEWSSpectra Wireless, Microsoft 4Afrika launch first commercial TV white spaces services in Africa
University students will now get fast, affordable Internet bundles and receive zero-interest financing when purchasing a new device.