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The paradox of nation-building and commercially driven broadcasting : the case of Lesotho television.

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Nation-building has always been considered the responsibility of a public service broadcaster while, on the other hand, commercial broadcasters are associated with profitmaking. This study was designed to investigate whether a commercially driven broadcasting venture could be used for the purposes of nation-building; The case of Lesotho Television. Established by the Lesotho Government in partnership with M-net, Lesotho Television informs, educates and entertains, thus attempting to follow the tenets of public service broadcasting. Upon its establishment in 1988, Lesotho Television was mandated to contribute in the nation-building initiatives of the Lesotho leaders. The station, which is embedded within the South African based pay-channel M-Net, was expected to positively contribute in the Lesotho Government's endeavours to re-build the nation divided along political lines. In the discussion I highlight the fact that Lesotho Television encounters some problems due to the paradoxical relationship between it and M-Net (The former aspiring to serve as a public service broadcaster while the latter is a commercial television service). Nevertheless, considering its programming and activities, Lesotho Television contributes in nation-building. Therefore, I conclude that the potential for Lesotho Television to inform, educate and entertain would seem to outweigh the limitations.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of Natal, Durban, 2001.


Television broadcasting--Social aspects--Lesotho., Television broadcasting--Economic aspects--Lesotho., Television broadcasting policy--Lesotho., Theses--Culture, communication and media studies.