Are attacks on the media justified?

20 November 2019 | Columns

Local media have come under attack in recent days, particularly from functionaries of government and Swapo.

Perhaps the biggest attack on the industry came from Tjekero Tweya, ironically a former minister of information, who should have tamed his loose tongue that branded journalists “flies”.

At the same occasion, where he was introducing aspiring foreign investors into a Namibian project, he also called journalists “bad, bad Namibians” and “unpatriotic”. Tweya, now the minister of trade, was seemingly irked by media scrutiny that government decisions and actions are rightly subjected to.

In the space of two weeks, we also witnessed statements from State House spokesperson Alfredo Hengari, who first accused The Namibian of subjecting “willy-nilly judgment on the decisions of President Hage Geingob”, and secondly accusing New Era of malicious reporting, also on the president.

Geingob himself last weekend accused the media of being “desperate to destroy Swapo”, without providing a basis for his outrageous claim, except saying the ruling party is not enjoying adequate coverage locally.

True, the media is not holier than though and certainly not above criticism and scrutiny. There is a general admission that the work of the media has not always been beyond reproach, but this does not justify calling people “bad Namibians” and “flies”.

Tweya’s insults were unsolicited and directed at people who simply responded positively to an invitation by his office. It sounds as though he deliberately invited journalists so that he could belittle and humiliate them in front of an investor.

We want to categorically state that we do not suggest that the media may not be scrutinised or criticised. If anything, the industry is generally amenable to criticism, because it helps spark introspection. But when critique borders on outright insults, labelling and intimidation, we have every reason to fear that we are crawling into a very dangerous space, which can change the way the world looks at Namibia as a thriving democracy, where the media operates free of attacks and intimidation.

Similar News

 

Redefine coming through

1 day - 11 August 2020 | Columns

Enzo AmueleThe residents of the Twaloloka informal settlement in Walvis Bay, which in Oshiwambo means “we are tired”, recently experienced one of the most devastating...

Germany should fund Namibia's land restitution

5 days ago - 07 August 2020 | Columns

Henning Melber Nearly 30 years after starting land reform, Namibia's distribution of land ownership is still skewed. This is a colonial legacy. It is high...

Being comfortably uncomfortable

1 week ago - 04 August 2020 | Columns

Elizabeth JosephInasmuch as this year has probably been the most draining and challenging, it has definitely made several people, including myself, think of life in...

The plethora of political economy in Africa during Covid-19

1 week ago - 31 July 2020 | Columns

TUIKILA KAIYAMO A global pandemic such as the coronavirus has indicated that globalisation can change in an instant, with various factors deciding how nations could...

Change is the only constant

2 weeks ago - 28 July 2020 | Columns

Ester Kamati When making a big decision, along with being scared, doubts start to form about whether it is even worth it, if it will...

Protecting reproductive health and rights

4 weeks ago - 15 July 2020 | Columns

Florence /KhaxasNamibia was built on the labour of black women whose bodies are often subjected to criminalisation and violence. Why do women die? That is...

Broken NYC needs fixing

4 weeks ago - 15 July 2020 | Columns

MARTIN-OLEMBE ANTINDI The National Youth Council (NYC), an inclusive and non-political national youth organisation under the ministry of youth, sport and national service, is...

No cap

4 weeks ago - 14 July 2020 | Columns

Justicia Shipena Social media is great for many things, like sharing photos of your vacation, slick eyeliner or outfit. Activism, however, is not one...

Ecopreneurship a viable way to stimulate the economy

1 month - 26 June 2020 | Columns

Desmond KheibebIn the last few years it seems as we have created an unstoppable chain of events which has led to the issue of climate...

Staying safe and secure whilst being ­productive

2 months ago - 29 May 2020 | Columns

Jan Coetzee Namibia may seem remote and often disconnected from the world, but things came starkly into focus. We are part of the global village...

Latest News

Samcee brings ‘Divine Comfort’

8 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Swakopmund • [email protected] and gospel musician Samson ‘Samcee’ Chivi (21) recently released his third album, Divine Comfort.Born in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe, Samcee came to Namibia with...

Nam haemorrhaging jobs

20 hours ago | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – The impact of Covid-19 and the ongoing recession claimed 5 748 jobs in the three months to the end of June.This is...

Man charged with girlfriend's panga...

20 hours ago | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATIA 36-year-old woman died after she was hacked with a panga at her mother's homestead at Ouhwaala village in the Omusati Region on Sunday.Her...

Covid hits Cabinet, Swapo

20 hours ago | Government

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKYesterday's routine cabinet meeting was held virtually after a senior official in that arm of government allegedly tested for Covid-19, while the ruling party...

Fishrot whistleblower rubbishes Samherji's loss-making...

20 hours ago | Crime

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKWhistleblower Johannes Stefansson, who formerly headed Icelandic seafood giant Samherji’s Namibian business interests, has cast doubt on claims by his former employer that its...

Land surveying starts at Okahandja

20 hours ago | Economics

The ministry of urban and rural development has started the land surveying process at Ekunde Extension 5 in Okahandja in efforts to speed up land...

Africa Briefs

20 hours ago | Economics

Egyptians vote for newly created senatePolls opened in Egypt yesterday for a two-day election to choose members of a newly created second chamber of parliament,...

Pads restore dignity at Ncamagoro

20 hours ago | Social Issues

KENYA KAMBOWENCAMAGOROAbout 40 women and girls at Ncamagoro village in Kavango West received free sanitary pads on Monday, donated by anonymous benefactors from the Namibia...

Youth at the periphery of...

20 hours ago | Opinion

With this year's regional and local authority elections a mere two months away, young people are again being elbowed to the edge.In political parties, strategies...

Load More