Lesotho Government and Media Profile

Lesotho Political Orientation

Lesotho - Right-Center Bias - Conservative - LiberalLesotho Country Flag Bias


Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy
Leader: King Letsie III (monarch) and Prime Minister Samuel Ntsokoane Matekane (since 2022)
Political Party: Revolution for Prosperity
Political Position: Center-Right

Press Freedom

MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 65.15 Moderate Freedom
World Press Freedom Rank:
Lesotho 67/ 180

Lesotho has a relatively free press compared to many African nations. However, journalists face threats and intimidation, especially when covering political unrest or corruption. Organizations like Reporters Without Borders have noted these challenges.

Media Ownership and Government Analysis

In Lesotho, radio and TV stand out as the dominant medium. The public can access local and international broadcasts, including the BBC World ServiceRadio Lesotho is the only national radio station, while Lesotho Television is the sole state-controlled TV channel. The Lesotho National Broadcasting Service (LNBS), under the Ministry of Communication, manages Radio Lesotho, Ultimate Radio, and Lesotho Television, indicating the government has control over the state media.

The media landscape is mostly comprised of privately owned weekly publications, including the Public EyeLesotho TimesSunday Express, and The Post. There is no daily newspaper available, which is significant in the context of media consumption patterns. Finally, the state-owned Lesotho News Agency (LENA) serves as the primary news agency in the country.

The government’s stance on media freedom is generally positive, with private media outlets offering opposition viewpoints. Freedom House has expressed concerns about the challenges journalists face. Laws restrict their work, including bans on sedition and offenses against the royal family’s dignity. A 2010 Penal Code allows police to force journalists to reveal their sources. Journalists in the country have encountered threats and violence, highlighted by the delayed trial of soldiers accused of attacking former editor Lloyd Mutungamiri in 2016.

A noteworthy aspect of the media’s financial landscape is its dependence on government advertisements, which may influence the media to report favorably on the government.

Overall, the media landscape is a blend of state and private outlets. While there’s a sense of media freedom, challenges like self-censorship, threats to journalists, and economic dependencies persist.

Country Rating Methodology

Last Updated on August 19, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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