President Khama got the nation talking and the social media buzzing on Monday with claims that a survey has indicated that Batswana trust government media more than the private press.
The president uttered the controversial claims which attracted a roar of laughter across parliament during his State of the Nation address, a response he reacted to by saying: ” I repeat ! I am also pleased to note that perception surveys continue to confirm that Batswana put their trust in BTV, Radio Botswana and the Daily News for accurate and responsible news and information. It’s a fact,” after a brief interruption from the house.
On Wednesday however The Voice hit a snag in its attempt to find out which survey informed the president’s speech as government spokesperson Jeff Ramsay refused to disclose the source of President Khama’s perception survey.
“That is impossible, it is a private matter,” he said.
Ramsay however went on to say that similar surveys have been conducted before which have shown public’s perception was in the favour of state media.
“There have been a couple of surveys, and you have to know that usually people carry out these surveys for their own purposes. All I can tell you is that a survey was conducted but I can’t tell you who did it,” he said.
Commenting on the president’s claims the Chairperson of the Editor’s forum and Sunday Standard Deputy Editor Spencer Mogapi said he was disappointed but not surprised by the President remarks.
“The President talked about a survey he could not disclose, but then again we all know his disdain for private media, so it was not a surprise at all,” said Mogapi who went on to lament what he described as the president’s deliberate polarization of the relationship between state and private media through his divisive comments.
“That was really unnecessary. In a way the President was trying to justify the continual glaring abuse of state media by his government,” Mogapi said.