The 2nd edition of the Botswana Lilac Media Awards 2013 marks yet another positive milestone in the development of the Media Industry.
The purpose known to all is that this Award Ceremony is to recognise the contribution of media practitioners in national discourse.
This is a clear demonstration that Hotwire PRC and Wired is moving forward with determination to ensure the success and growth of the media industry. In essence, what we witness this evening is a common understanding that the Lilac Media Awards are critical in the promotion and development of the industry.
My brief is that the Lilacs are a product of a piece of research that has been conducted in Botswana now for 6 years. The research has been conducted via a national survey focused on the preferences of consumers of media. I further gather that the questions were designed to ensure that the participant only gave personal opinion, based on one’s own experiences.
This was managed through ensuring the form was filled individually and not in a workshop setting or focus group. This ceremony is clearly opportune and apposite.
I wish to commend you for the initiative, which is reflective of your commitment and sense of purpose. It is a noble idea to recognise talent. Recipients will be goaded, and this ceremony so punctuates, to aspire for higher levels of excellence.
A path is being developed for positive growth of the media. I believe Hotwire PRC and Wired under the transformative leadership of Mr Kabelo Binns is weeding out those who are inclined on negative reporting of unresearched and one-sided stories that border on malice. There is also a tendency by some reporters to quote matters out of context.
Most professions have internally enforced codes of conduct that members of the profession must follow to preserve the integrity of the profession. Such arrangement, if effectively implemented, nurtures and sustains credibility of any profession as it defines a standard of conduct that individual practitioners should uphold at any given time. To this end, professionals who act with conscience will practice in the knowledge that they will not be undermined by peers who tarnish the image of the profession.
Batswana, have always underscored the importance of embracing the values and ideals that have taken us thus far. It is my firm belief that Botswana’s political stability, sound economic status and her role on the international stage can be attributed to most of us who appreciate the challenges and achievements without being neither complacent nor too dismissive to the point of national self-defacing.
As media practitioners, we have every reason to expect adherence to the principles of Journalism enshrined in your own code of conduct and ethics, such as truth telling whereby you interrogate issues and provide a balanced account of events. It is important to appreciate domestic challenges, policies and programmes in order to handle issues faced by the nation with relative ease and clear understanding.
The ceremony tonight is an award giving occasion. It is a celebration. A celebration in recognition of achievement. Achievement entails and denotes seriousness of purpose. The awards to be received are final testimony in appreciation, by way of encouragement and motivation. We command the recipients. We congratulate them. We admire them for the rewards of good work. We say keep it up. Keep going up the journalism slippery pole. Slippery pole because reporters without borders are often victims of stray bullets in conflict situations.
In conclusion, Honourable Minister, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to once again encourage our friends in the media to strive for excellence, and of course commit to provide factual, balanced and informative reports that abide by your own code of conduct and ethics.
I thank you and good evening, PULA!
*This was Vice President Dr P.H.K. Kedikilwe’s keynote address at the 2013 Lilac Media Awards