Sunday Standard newspaper’s deputy editor, Spencer Mogapi has said the newspaper will not change its editorial policy despite the unkind reception it is receiving from the government.
The newspaper editor Outsa Mokone is facing a possible two year jail sentence for “sedition” while senior journalist, Edgar Tsimane has since fled the country and is seeking asylum in neighbouring South Africa following threats on his life.
On the other hand, the newspaper was in 2014 listed amongst those that the government has decided not to advertise with, a move that was meant to deny newspapers significant revenue stream.
Addressing a General Meeting of the company, Mogapi said despite all this, the Sunday Standard newspaper will not be review its editorial policy to suit the conditions of the government.
“To us the role of the media is much more than just making money. It is about holding those in power accountable. it is about providing a voice to the weak.
And we intend to be true to such principles regardless of risks and cross hairs from those in power. We will not be changing our editorial policy.
We did not change our policy when we were singled out for advertising ban. And will not change it now because of ongoing persecution and political witch-hunt,” Mogapi said.
Mogapi, who is also the editor of Sunday Standard’s sister publication, The Telegraph, says despite the fact that some in the media industry have come out to say conditions have improved, they Sunday Standard holds a different view.
“If anything conditions have gotten worse. Very clearly those in the media saying conditions have improved are either trying to placate government or are vainly struggling to stay away from its crosshairs.”
Meanwhile Mogapi also said that in a space of two to three months he will be away from office to brief both local and international partners on the company’s views regarding the political trial of its executive editor.
“We are not about to appease this government with the hope that they will become nice to us. The trial in our view is politically motivated. There are more pressing issues like corruption at DIS by the DIS boss as investigated by the DCEC. DPP is not prosecuting because it is compromised”.
In the meantime Mokone cannot leave the country without first notifying the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP). This is one of the conditions of the bail granted to Mokone in December last year. He is expected to appear for a status hearing on 26 January 2016.