Citizen journalism and its dynamics

21 June 2019 | Columns

I recently ran into a fan of tjil, his name was Mathews (I did not ask for his surname) and he referred to me as 'Mikey Mike' - don't you just hate it when people take it upon themselves to abbreviate and customise your name? But anyway, Mathews told me how much he loves print media and has been collecting tjil since Gordon Joseph was responsible for putting the content together.

However, he mentioned how the internet is so heavy on daily content that it feels like if he goes to sleep for a few hours, when he wakes up the world is a different place, because so much happens and gets written about, tweeted or Instagram'd. He feels like that phenomenon is taking away from print media's position as the authority in the dissemination of latest entertainment news - be it current affairs or entertainment. He stressed that he will never lose love for print media, he just wants it to be around forever. Mathews brought up something very pertinent and he is right; the preoccupation of every second person to document every single thing at every second of day has made it quite challenging for print media publications to be the go-to for news.

Not to mention that when you give people the power to report, speak or be in a position of influence, some will use it irresponsibly because they do not have the respect for journalism as a profession that someone like Mathews and I might have. Any old 'expert' with a phone and Wi-Fi or some data to spare can blindly influence impressionable people into thinking 'rap' is decorative paper used by rappers to enclose presents. Anyway, I digress because as much as I am concerned about this too, it isn't something to be worried about (it is inevitable). No one has a monopoly on public content and this is not 1930s Germany, so we cannot keep people from voicing their opinions and thoughts. As the saying goes; adapt or die - and that is what any print media outlet needs to do in order to keep bringing the best content that their audience is used to, including tjil. With that said I believe we have done incredibly well in keeping up with times as our online following is engaging and interactive. On the entertainment front the views we get on the music-related videos we share on Namibian Sun Facebook page is testament to this. A video on musician Mbuku attracted over 124 000 views; another video on Kaboy Kamakili garnered over 40 000 views. I could go on and on but I hope this puts things into perspective.

In this edition, tjil sat down with Dice who let us in on how he is diversifying his income streams and doing things that add value to the music industry as a whole. Another feature you should look forward to is on producer and music engineer Mr Glo who is responsible for producing some of the best hits to ever come out of the land of the brave.

[email protected]; @MichaelMKAY on Twitter