Algerian Ambassador to Namibia Sid-Ali Abdelbari last Friday morning paid a courtesy visit to the New Era Publication Corporation (NEPC) head offices.
During the meeting with the CEO of the NEPC, Dr Audrin Mathe, Abdelbari expressed appreciation to New Era for “reflecting the Namibian situation as it is”.
“I really want to congratulate New Era for the balanced and objective information it presents,” he said.
Abdelbari urged the Namibian media to always reflect situations “in the most responsible, balanced and objective manner”.
He called on journalists to verify information before presenting it to the public. “They should always remain responsible in their work and behaviour.”
Algeria is one of the African states that have felt the full brunt of terrorism, so much so that the Algerian government had to close its southern border posts and increase militarization of the border area to protect against terrorist attacks.
“The situation [terror] is now stable and Algeria is now safe. Our security forces were mobilized to defeat terrorism,” he said.
Abdelbari also called on the media on the continent to make use of African sources when working with news involving African countries, instead of always running for western sources.
“Most of the time our media rely on western sources that do not always have accurate information; it is high time we start promoting African news sources,” he said.
On his part, Mathe thanked Abdelbari for the visit and stressed the need for more Algerian news in Namibian media.
“We need to report on the events taking place in Algeria, as this will help our business people to know what is in Algeria in case they want to look for business opportunities there,” Mathe said.
Mathe explained New Era’s role in Namibia’s development agenda.
“It is important for us to set the development agenda in the proper context because we are there to communicate what the state is doing to better the lives of people. If government opens a clinic somewhere, people must be made aware of it. We have a two-fold approach whereby we communicate what people say government must do for them,” said the CEO.
Government cannot be everywhere, said Mathe, adding: “It is up to us to report about the needs of the communities.”
Mathe also informed the ambassador about the exorbitant cost of printing the newspaper.
“We will welcome training opportunities in Algeria through which we can see how the media works that side. University courses for journalists will also come in handy because it will help to build capacity and knowledge to promote objective and fair reporting,” he said.
“It is not solely upon government to build relations between the two countries, but state institutions can also do something to promote those relations,” he said.