Monday, April 19, 2021

BTV infightings lead to trade unions’ blackout

Journalists at the government-controlled electronic media house are crying out loud that news reader Gloria Kgosi and the Deputy Permanent Secretary in charge of media, Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo, interfere with their work.

Employees say the frustrating undue interference from the two makes them look generally unprofessional in the eyes of the Btv audience.

The complaint comes as the state controlled media has been airing, with consistency, the government side of the story as it relates to the events that led to the ongoing nationwide strike by public servants without according the unions the same platform to state their side of the story.

In addition to endless kgotla meetings by President Ian Khama telling the nation that the government will not hike salaries, the acting Vice President, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, has addressed the nation on Btv on the matter. Finance and Development Minister, Kenneth Matambo has also addressed the nation on Btv about the same matter. 

On Friday, the Permanent Secretary to the President was interviewed by Kgosi over the strike. In all these incidences, the voice of the unions has never been heard from the government controlled airwaves, in particular Btv.

Sources told the Telegraph on Monday that Kgosi prevailed, over her boss, Btv Head of News, Sakaeyo Jane, who had wanted to invite unions to air their views. Sources say both Kgosi and Kaboeamodimo informed the Head of News that they were not going to allow the unions as they have been instructed from the top not to do so.

Sources claim both Kgosi and Kaboeamodimo cared less about feeding the nation a one-sided story of the government though there are two parties involved.

“This is an affront to the principles of journalism. It is unprofessional and is sickening,” a source told the Telegraph.

The Btv Head of News declined to comment and referred all enquiries to Kaboeamodimo.

A peeved Kaboeamodimo on Monday said the private media likes to jump gun over issues.

“Why do you like to judge us? We simply haven’t arrived at our intended line up for interviews,” said Kaboeamodimo, before promising to send a written response to our enquiry, which he never did by the time of going to press.

Five public sector unions are on a nationwide strike demanding a 16 percent salary increase. The government is offering a 5 percent conditional increase.

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