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
Minister warns about social mediaA junior minister has advised Batswana to be very cautious of the now popular social media, saying it has become a scourge and harbinger of many criminal acts including terrorism. Read More
Which African president has the best website?The presidency of Togo, a tiny West African nation of six million people, has the best presidential website in Africa out of the 40 countries surveyed by Jeune Afrique magazine. Read More
Multimillion Kwacha traffic project questionedPlayers in the transport system have questioned the decision to settle for MOVESA and Fischer Consortium as the eligible bidder to upgrade Maltis. Read More
Statistics Botswana conducts ICT surveyStatistics Botswana (SB) has embarked on the first-ever nationwide Botswana Information & Communication Technology (ICT) survey, targeting 2,440 households. Read More
Rwanda Online platform officially takes offThe Government of Rwanda and Rwanda Online Platform Limited have kicked off the first phase of the Rwanda Online platform, set to establish an integrated public service platform for Government to Business and Government to Citizen services. Read More
Congo Brazzaville, Cameroon customs go hi-techCongo-Brazzaville and Cameroon have agreed to seek the help of ICTs to computerise their customs services. Read More
Candidates decry lack of internet in villagesAspiring parliamentary candidates have decried lack of technology in the villages bordering the urban spaces and beyond. Read More
COFEK supports Matiangi over impeachment callsThe Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has defended Ministry of ICT cabinet secretary Dr Fred Matiangi after the ICT Association of Kenya (ICTAK) called for him to be impeached. Read More
Congo-Brazzaville invests over US$200m in ICTsOil-rich Congo-Brazzaville has invested more than 100-billion FCFA (about US$204-million) in the past few years in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector. Read More
FEATURED STORYNigeria’s VAS providers ‘on brink of extinction’
WASPAN chief Simon Aderinlola says unless the regulator intervenes, WASPAN may not have anything left to regulate. Kokumo Goodie reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.
COMPANY NEWSSage CRM is Umsinsi Health Care’s engine for growth
Umsinsi Health Care, a distributor of medical products, has enhanced customer service and streamlined its business processes by implementing Sage CRM as its customer relationship management platform.