New North West newspaper to be voice of community

The Editor-In-Chief of the newly launched Lekunutu News newspaper, Thabo Mooke has vowed to ensure the monthly newspaper becomes the voice of residents in communities it serves.

"Our most critical objective will be to provide information to the community we will seek the truth through our accurate and balanced stories. We will never be used by politicians to fight their battles," Mooke said at the official launch of the newspaper on Friday.

The event was attended by Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.

"We will be focusing much on informing communities under the Moretele municipality and Bela-Bela with the latest information about government programme of action as well as all the events and activities in these areas," said Mooke.

"We've already noticed that our people are not informed about government programmes with regard to service delivery, so we will close that gap by keeping residents informed about government planned projects in their areas," he said. He was previously head of the defunct Bop TV and has worked in both print and electronic media since 1976.

He said his newspaper will be providing free journalism training to matriculants who stay at home and have nothing to do.

Delivering a keynote address, Minister Muthambi described Lekunutu News as a new strategic partner for her department.

"The newspaper must spread the message about what is happening in the communities they serve. Our expectations are that you will be the voice of the community, you must practice responsible journalism by writing stories that also inform and educate residents about the National Development Plan (NDP)," she said.

"You made us proud by taking a decision to publish the newspaper in Sepedi, Setswana and Sepedi languages, so in this way, everyone in the community including the elders will enjoy reading this paper.

"We expect you to give residents of Moretele and Bela-Bela maximum coverage, your stories should be about them, and you must inform them about the service delivery of their respective municipalities."

The Minister said if community media is to play its role, it should sustain quality content that also reflects the demographic of the community.

She called on acting mayor of Moretele Local Municipality, Lucky Motsepe and Bela-Bela mayor, Cllr Jeremiah Ngobeni to support the newspaper.

The first edition of the monthly newspaper was published on Wednesday this week.

Source: South African Government News Agency.

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