Journalists must shut their loud beaks

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SCRUTATOR was not part of the team of journalists who met for a two-day retreat organised by the Journalists Association of Lesotho recently but she got a few tit-bits about how lousy it was.

That is if the reports she read in the newspapers are to be believed.

I am made to understand one of the issues that received “serious” attention at the workshop was the harassment of female journalists in our newsrooms.

“Some female editors and managers who feel threatened by more beautiful subordinates allegedly go out of their way to frustrate the juniors with arbitrary punishments and withholding opportunities such as training,” the journalists complained in a long, rambling piece in that other weekly.

“It emerged some female journalists . . . always boast about sleeping with very senior ministry officials in exchange for favours such as international travel, dubious study leave abroad and promotions conducted in a non-transparent and unlawful manner,” moaned the piece.

I know I am no beauty queen but can we surely reduce a two-day workshop to this pedestrian level?

We were not told how serious this problem is. All we heard were allegations.

The donors who sponsored this workshop should demand their money back.

And what was the minister doing at that talk-shop?

Why didn’t they talk about serious issues like our defamation laws which are still stuck in the medieval era?

Why didn’t they talk about media ethics which some scribes keep butchering with impunity?

How come there was no special session on news writing basics?

How about some papers that pay journalists starvation wages?

And why did they not talk about the importance of spelling correctly in newspapers?

Journalists are generally a complaining lot.

When they meet at workshops all they talk about is how suppressed they are and how they have toiled for years without promotion.

Yet they never say how pathetic they are when it comes to doing the job.

If they are not promoted the problem is with their bosses and not their incompetence.

Normally, the most indolent ones are those who want to climb up the newsroom ladder at the speed of light.

Journalists must start by being professional and competent before blaming other people for their misery.

Until they can prove they can spell the word “congratulations” they must just shut their loud beaks.

Guess who wrote the following sentences.

“He said he began doing this job since in January this year.”

“The clinic has an in-borne infection control on the reception area, post natal ward, ultra-violent light mother’s waiting rooms, five staff houses and many more.”

“Try hard to convince journalists to participate in workshops without demanding pedium.”

“The former teacher at Ts’osane LEC Primary School begun pig’s project in 2003 in Thaba-Bosiu.”

In fear that they will die, she slaughtered 215 pigs and sold the meet.”

“She now has a 100 pigs that she says have almost everything they need.”

“She now supplies a number of butcheries in Maseru with meet.”

“The event started with a prayer, followed by the Malawi National Anthem ‘God Bless Malawi’ and speeches.

“The Secretary of the Malawi Community, who was the master of ceremony, Mr. Stanley Malombe welcomed all the people who gathered for the occasion.”

Here are the clues.

That mutilated syntax came from a paper that is given to readers for free every Tuesday.

The publishers of that paper recently unleashed yet another shoddy product on the market in the form of a monthly magazine.

The owners of the paper are so obsessed with themselves that the magazine’s first editions had them as cover girls.

This is the same paper whose editor had the audacity to issue a public statement warning anyone using the paper as a “bait or as an insert in any other publication to increase sales is committing a felony”.

The paper, the editor said, “is free and should be granted as such at no cost whatsover”.

An unspecified reward has been offered to any reader who catches anyone committing this “felony”.

This is hilarious.

This is the same paper with reporters who are always peeing on grammar and spitting on syntax.  

This is the same paper whose senior editors can’t construct a simple English sentence without a boob.

Now we are being told that someone is using this pamphlet as a “bait or an insert” to increase their sales.

Phew! The last time Scrutator checked that paper was only fit for wiping the nether regions.

Who in their right senses would want that tosh to be an inset in their publication?

Scrutator reckons Wasa must issue a public statement against the paper.

“Wasa would like to warn the public against using a certain free newspaper distributed in Maseru only as toilet paper,” the statement should read.

“Over the past two years Wasa has seen a sudden increase in blockages in the sewage system. Our plumbers have established that the newspaper is the main culprit.”

“We therefore appeal to people to stop using this paper for purposes other than wrapping their food and starting fires.

“A reward will be offered to anyone who catches any person going to the loo with that newspaper in their pockets.

“As part of this campaign Wasa is offering a free roll of tissues to every household in Maseru.

“All you have to do is bring this week’s edition of the scandalous paper and you get a free roll.

“We thank you for keeping our sewer system functioning.”

Now, that sounds more like a serious offer.

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