The Origins of the Department of Information and Broadcasting are traced as far back as 1961 when Batswana were still under British colonial rule. Then, a small transmitter located in Mafeking was employed mainly to broadcast agricultural programmes. A magazine, called Kutlwano, had also been set-up to provide information about Government policy. The two became the basis on which Information Services and Radio Bechuanaland (later Radio Botswana) were formed after Botswana’s independence from Britain in 1966.
In 1968, and as a result of a media consultancy, the control of the state radio and print media were transferred from the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Office of the President. It was there the department was established after the merger between Information Services and Radio Botswana in 1978.
As a Government-owned media, the role of the Department of Information and Broadcasting is to mobilize Batswana towards national development, to inform them about events within and outside the country, to interpret such events and whenever possible suggest appropriate approaches to them. The department also educates and entertains citizens in accordance with national development goals and interests.
Although Government-owned, there are no statutory instruments governing the editorial independence of the media organs of the department. Editorial policy is being implemented independently from within the department in accordance with the mandate bestowed on the department by government. The department also executes editorial policy in line with its role as a public service media charged with the responsibility of promoting policies of the government. The department is hence, dedicated to the provision of objective, balanced, credible and professionally-tailored programmes and publications.
Although based in the capital city, Gaborone, the Department of Information and Broadcasting is spread across the country by way of 21 stations which fall under the direct supervision of four bureau offices. These bureaus are located in Gaborone, Kanye, Serowe and Francistown.
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