Department of Information


DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION

The department of information was started in 1963 for its general public relations services. It has developed a film library, photography and press release facilities which are essential for its activities. In the early stages it was little more than an extension of the General Office of Information in London whose periodicals, features, posters, pictures and other educational material were distributed.

  • To provide information, education, services and entertainment to Basotho in the printed word with a view to enhancing their economic, social and cultural development.
  • To interpret Government policies locally and to project Lesotho's image to the international community.
  • To serve as a national forum for exchange of opinion.
  • To mobilize the nation to participate in development efforts.

Mandate

The Department strives to develop and maintain a printing and publishing infrastructure for effective coverage of the country by way of newspapers, periodicals, pictures and other printed materials. It also endeavours to develop and improve print content that is relevant to national development.

Services

  1. Photography services
  2. Produce and publish newspapers
  3. Undertakes media researches and data documentation
  4. Processes and stores archival of audio and information material.
  5. Produce and print His Majesty King and the Right Honourable Prime Minister Portraits
  6. Produce and print government posters(Senate, National Assembly and Cabinet)
  7. Monitor media activities and trends.
  8. Collects and documents speeches of national importance.
  9. Produce official yearbook on the achievements of the government
  10. Translate news reports from English to Sesotho and vice-versa.
  11. Newspaper cuttings

Publication

The publications section is charged with the responsibility of collecting, editing, translating and arranging of printing of information material on Lesotho in the form of booklets, brochures, releases, posters, portraits and others. It is also to ensure the accuracy and conformity to good taste and high standard of presentation of the Ministry’s publications. Besides the issuance of press statements, the section handles and processes applications for press accreditation of local and foreign journalists and arranges press conferences and interviews of the Head of Government and Ministers by foreign newsmen and women. The section draws a list of public holidays for distribution on requests to business houses, embassies, schools and others. It also sells portraits of the Head of State and the Head of Government.

  1. Publications of government newspapers/magazines
  2. Publication of other periodicals as and necessary
  3. Provide information upon inquiries.
  4. Accreditation of journalists both local and foreign.
  5. Issuing of press releases on policy processes
  6. Coverage of national and international events
  7. Printing of Government Posters
  8. Compiling historical facts about Lesotho
  9. Establishment of working relations with other Government Ministries’ information divisions
  10. Compile annual information packages of events of significance and establish a database of the same.
  11. Provide and maintain information content of services of government Website
The Department of Information publishes a weekly newspaper, Lentsoe La Basotho (The voice of Basotho) in Sesotho. The newspaper, with 20 000 readers a week. Covers various issues of national interest with a view to informing, educating and entertaining Basotho locally and internationally.
Also published by the department are the official yearbook, booklets, brochures, pamphlets on information about Lesotho, posters of ministers, members of the National Assembly, members of the Senate and other publications.
SKILLS NEEDED: MASS MEDIA RESEARCH, NEWS WRITING, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING, INTERVIIEWING, PUBLIC RELATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION, MEDIA LITERACY, COMPUTER LITERACY

Sections


Administration Section

Administration section involves a great deal of multitasking; these section responsibilities include providing administrative support to ensure efficient operations of the office. Support managers and employees through a variety of tasks related to the ministry and communication. Responsible for confidential and time sensitive material. The duties are to answer and direct phone calls, organize and schedule meetings and appointments, maintain contact list, produce and distribute correspondence memos, letters, faxes and forms, assist in the preparation of regularly scheduled reports, order office supplies, submit and reconcile expense reports, provide general support to visitors, take dictation, research and create presentations, prepare and monitor invoices.

Press Section

Press Section is responsible for publication of two weekly newspapers, namely: Lesotho Today and Lentsoe La Basotho. Lentsoe La Basotho concentrates mainly on the people in the rural areas while Lesotho Today focuses on the urban dwellers or centres. Its functions are:

  • To ensure accuracy, conformity to good taste and high standards of presentation of contents of the newspapers.
  • To ensure that the newspapers content is not libelous or defamatory.
  • To plan for provision of editorial and maintenance of editorial and technical equipment for the section.
In addition to their role of informing, education, entertaining and giving service, the newspapers interpret the Government policies and project the image of Lesotho to the international community. The defunct Shoeshoe, as a women’s magazine, conscientises women on their rights and acts as a forum where they can share ideas relating to social, cultural, political and economic issues affecting their lives. The magazine encourages women to participate and involve themselves in income-generating activities so as to sustain their families.

Editorial Section

Editorial section is responsible for the daily operations of publications or websites and reports to the editor. They also read content submissions, editing for spelling, punctuation and grammar. The editorial section must verify facts and determine if a manuscript or article is ready for publication. In the print publication an editor might also work with a graphic designer to decide on layouts and send the pages to press. The editorial director approves content to be published.

Computer Section

It is an IT department are responsible to handle all the technological issues that arise, install new software or fix computers related problems. It is responsible for providing the infrastructure for automation, implementing the governance for the use of network and operation systems, the IT department enables the ministry employees to communicate, collaborate and automate routine task and generally provide teams with the functionality they need to perform their duties.

Advertising Section

Advertising section is responsible for delivering messages through mass medium and uses it to persuade consumers, increasing brand awareness, developing more favourable customer’s attitudes, overcoming negative publicity, driving revenue, expanding the customer base. This section has three main objectives which are to inform, to persuade and to remind customers. The informative adverts are used to introduce the ministry products and services to the marketing. Persuading customers is a prominent advert objective of the ministry in the competitive markets. Remind advert simply reinforce the brand message to a well established marketplace. The general idea is to maintain top mind awareness and protect against competitors coming along.

Photographic Section

Photographic section, this section has both conventional and modern photographic equipment which makes it possible to capture and record assignments of any magnitude. The section is represented in all ministries with highly motivated and well-trained photographers. The provincial photographers are well positioned to take photographs of all historical sites and both public and private sections where possible for the nation’s prosperity. The ministry photographers do not only take archival photographs but also take newsworthy photographs which are later published in the weekly newspapers Lesotho Today and Lentsoe La Basotho and some privately owned papers.

Dispatch Section

Dispatch section is responsible for receiving emergency and non emergency calls and record significant information, addressing problems and request by transmitting information or providing solutions, receiving and dispatching orders for products or deliveries, prioritize calls according to urgency and importance, A dispatcher must use radio, phone or computer to send crews, vehicles or other field units to appropriate locations, monitor the route and status of field units to coordinate and prioritize their schedule, provide field units with information about orders, traffic, obstacle and requirements and enter data in computer system and maintain logs and records of calls activities and other information.

Circulation Section

Circulation section is responsible for the development and operations of circulation plans for news papers, magazines, yearbooks and catalogues. The circulation section also involves trying to increase the number of subscribers a publication has. Our managers work with people in promotions, promotions and advertising.

Design and Display Section

Designs a wide range of items including, books, posters, newsletters, pamphlets, leaflets, advertising, banners, logos, exhibitions, backdrops, booths, display panels, mascots, event programmes, souvenirs and Government documents.

Audio Visual Section

Produces a variety of programmes and publicize government promotional, educational and information messages Programmers include documentary video and TV and Radio APIs (Announcements in the Public Interest). Supplies footage of government press conferences, briefings and events for broadcast on the internet and Government Website.

Library & Archiving Section

  1. To create an informed society through the provision of information materials free of charge to Basotho for purposes of self education, recreation and problem-solving.
  2. Archiving of Information material of Lesotho in the past and present historical events information and pictures/services, which dates back to colonial days.
  3. Collect and distributes posters of the Cabinet, National Assembly and Senate
  4. It’s a non commercial venture that informs and educates citizens on Government development programmes and initiatives.
  5. Produce still and moving pictures of Government’s record purposes and distribution
  6. Maintain a photographic library in and outside the country
  7. In the interest of collecting revenue, provide a Government commercial facility for the benefit of both the public and private sector
  8. Provide a focal point for exchange of visual materials with local, private and international organizations and individuals.

Information Office

Functions of this section:

  1. Undertakes media researches and data documentation
  2. Processes and stores archival materials
  3. Monitors media activities and trends
  4. Processes accreditation of local and foreign journalists and media students covering official events, activities and ceremonies
  5. Translates news reports into Sesotho and vice versa
  6. Collects and document speeches of national importance
  7. Collects and produce Official Year Book on the achievements of government.
  8. Produce and print His Majesty King and the Right Hon. Prime Minister’s Portraits.

SKILLS NEEDED: NEWS WRITING AND REPORTING, COMMUNICATiONS LAW AND PUBLIC RELATIONS, DESIGN, COMPUTER LITERACY, MEDIA LITERACY, RESEARCH, MEDIA RELATIONS


To be a vibrant information hub, leaders in technology and research moving toward a prosperous, innovative, stable and sustainable democracy and knowledge based society