Last Addressee in Your Speech – A Title Fine Enough

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EEWA By Petronella Sibeene I have always loved the openness and transparency that prevails in the Namibian society. But whilst praise needs to be heaped on many of the good achievements we have made thus far in terms of democracy and press freedom, at times we have to look back in retrospect and stop being silly. Of late anything you say you should be careful of otherwise you get a hefty lawsuit. Where this comes from is perhaps the result of many influential television series on our DStv bouquets. In contrast, if something was said or reported in the media, it does not mean that the reporter said it. What it usually means is that something must have taken place and the media happens to follow it up and report on it. To simplify that, “We don’t make news, we only report it.” Hostility towards the media has manifested itself in many different ways; we have been labeled proponents of lies, without any media ethics, the list is endless. Yes, there are harsh criticisms and those are only but the unofficial perks that come with this job. We adhere to this and follow our passion diligently. Of course, where we happen to mix up facts, we always go on record and clear that, X was in-fact not X but it was Y. We are not saying that we are saints but we do have those moments where we opt to be simply human like any other person. So much so that we appeal to be taken kindly and treated with respect too. When we say respect we are not asking you to sugar-coat us and pamper us with freebies. We simply ask you to understand the nature of our job if we want democracy, progress and the economy to prosper. Trust me, the fact that you acknowledge us, as the last addressee in your speeches is a title fine enough. We are a bunch of tolerant media workers in this country – you need not to be convinced otherwise that we get kicked around, ushered into tight squeezes just to get that picture of the president signing an accord. For extra measure, we are accused of finishing up all the booze and the cocktail finger foods. We do play our part there, but someone should tell me that it is hugely impossible that seven journalists from all the media houses in this country would finish all the food meant for five hundred stomachs. By the way, like any other participant, we are equally entitled to partake in those snacks and drinks that are usually bought with taxpayer’s money. And we are taxpayers. I don’t mean to sulk but it is common knowledge that some hotels specialize in recycling food so one would not be that eager to devour it, the result of which is spending a sleepless night in the bathroom. We shall always remain committed to our job. And over the years, we have learnt to do almost everything using almost nothing just to ensure that we save the masses. Aluta continua…Viva press freedom.