Namibia • West Coast of Southern Africa • Population: 2.1m • Ethnic groups: Ovambo (50 per cent), Kavango (9 per cent), Herero (7per cent), Damara (7 per cent), European (6 per cent), Nama (5 per cent), Caprivian (4 per cent), San/Bushmen (3 per cent), Baster (2 per cent), Tswana (0.5 per cent) • Capital: Windhoek – pop. 320 000 • Currency: Namibian dollar • Executive president: Hifikepunye Pohamba • Only 0.99 per cent of Namibia’s 824 292 square kilometres is arable land and permanent crops cover only 0.01 per cent of all land • Namibia is largely a desert or semi-desert country where rainfall is extremely sparse and erratic. • The country is bordered by the Namib desert to the west and the Kalahari desert to the south-east.
Namibia – Media freedoms and journalist work conditions • The Namibia Constitution makes provision for freedom of speech and expression which includes freedom of the press and other media. • The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) is a NGO with members in 11 of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. Officially launched in 1992, MISA focuses primarily on the need to promote the free flow of information and co-operation between media workers to nurture democracy and human rights in Africa as envisaged in the 1991 Windhoek Declaration. • NO direct censorship from government or influencial parties, but indirect pressures do exist and are generally linked to financial resources for the media house.
Pluralism • There is pluralism in respect of the print media in Namibia despite some indicators, which taken on their own, could suggest otherwise. • This includes control of the major printing press by one company (Democratic Media Holdings), which owns 3 of the daily newspapers and prints its major daily competitor as well as several weekly niche-based newspapers that it does not own. • Naturally the consequences for newspapers (and magazines) not owned by DMH, should it ever refuse to print them, could be dire.
Print media • Starting up one`s own newspaper printing press in Namibia is not necessarily viable from an economic point of view. • Newspaper printers in countries with small circulations, as is the case in Namibia (7 000 - 20 000 for the dailies), need a pool of paying clients.
• Newspaper circulation in Namibia is severely inhibited by a number of factors (distance/living conditions/prineters/access to rural areas). • Advertising, rather than cover price, is the main form of revenue for the print media in Namibia. This makes it distinctly different from, for example, Zambia, where the opposite is true.
Print media • Ease of the process of registration of a publication and a small but vibrant advertising market, make it relatively easy to start a periodical publication (magazine) in Namibia. But daily (or even bi-weekly and weekly) newspapers face severe economic constraints. • The problems of geography and population further contribute to severe distribution problems for newspapers. This is compounded by the advertising market, advertising agencies and printing presses which, for market reasons, are largely limited to only two urban centres (Windhoek and Swakopmund/Walvis Bay).
Newspapers 12 Newspapers Dailies: • Die Republikein – DMH group - Afrikaans newspaper (highest circulation – lingua franca) • Namibian Sun – DMH group – English • Algemeine Zeitung – DMH group – German - available in Windhoek & Swakopmund (subscription) • The Namibian – free press of Namibia trust - English – Most read newspaper/most credible • New Era – Government Newspaper – English Weeklies: • The Windhoek Observer – Paragon Holdings - English • The Namibia Economist - English • Informante – Trustco - English • The Confidente – Max Hamata - English • The Villager – Omaeleti group – English • Southern Times – 2 Government publication (NamZim)– circulated in SADC Bi-weekly: • The Namib Times – English/Afrikaans – coastal paper
Magazines/Periodicals • Namibia sport • Insight magazine • Namibia Business Journal • Prime Focus • Red Carpet • Gems
News agencies • There are two news agencies: • State-owned Namibian Press Agency- NAMPA • MISAnet (operated independently by MISA as an Internetbased news exchange service between 26 newspapers in the SADC region).
Broadcast media • 34.4 % of Namibians surveyed (2012) owned a television set, a further 16 % had access to a television set and 50.6 % had no access to television at all. The census showed that • 81.4 % of Namibians owned a radio, an additional 6.2 % had access to a radio & 12.4 % had no radio access at all. The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), which is 100 % state-owned, is the biggest player in both the radio and television broadcast sectors and has the widest coverage, with the radio signal reaching 96 % and the television signal 66 % of the country’s population NBC must move over to digital with a due date of 2015
National radio • NBC Radio, mainly through its ten language services (Afrikaans, Damara-Nama,English, German, Lozi, OshiWambo, OtjiHerero, Setswana, RukWangali and San languages) has penetration in the furthest corners of the country. These stations are not transmitted throughout the country, however, but only to certain areas where there is a concentration of a particular ethnic group.
Commercial radio • The commercial radio sector, which has expanded considerably since independence, is made up of nine stations, all based in Windhoek. • As a result, commercial radio coverage is on the whole very Windhoek-centred. Only a few radio stations broadcast to other major urban areas in the country • Commercial radio is largely inaccessible to rural audiences.
Community radio • Community radio initiatives have largely failed to take off in Namibia. • At present there are only four functioning community radio stations, with one or two others having struggled for a number of years to get off the ground. • The reach and accessibility of community radio stations is limited by their licensing mandate.
Television • Besides NBC Television, the market is served by free-to-air independent One Africa TV, which is 51 % by Namibian shareholders (black economic empowerment companies Aantu Investments and Consulting and Stimulus Investments, as well as One Africa senior management, while Schenzen Communications from China owns 36.75 % and Telkom Media 12.25 %) • One Africa TV, as a commercial station, relies heavily on advertising revenue for its survival. It currently reaches 90 % of urban areas by broadcasting to 28 urban centres in the country, including Windhoek, but is inaccessible in rural areas.
Television • The other major player in the television sector is MultiChoice Namibia Ltd, with its subscriber-based DSTV offering. This service provides a wide range of international television channels to subscribers by satellite. The SWAPO party, through Kalahari Holdings, is the majority shareholder (51 per cent) in MultiChoice Namibia. MultiChoice Namibia reaches just over 90 000 subscribers (96 000) with its digital satellite television service. • MultiChoice Namibia is also in the process of experimenting with television broadcasting to mobile phones and another satellite pay-TV station, GoTV Namibia, was launched in October 2007 under Multichoice Namibia.
Internet • The three major telecommunications companies – Telecom (through Iway), MTC and MultiChoice Namibia’s MWeb – offer broadband internet connectivity. • Both majority shareholding of MTC (51%) and Telecom (100%) are through state owned Namibia Post and Telecom Holdings (NPTH). • 25% of MWeb is owned by SWAPO’s Kalahari Holdings, while the remaining shares are held by MWeb Africa.
Internet • Commercial internet services began operating in Namibia in 1996 and the take-up since then has been very good; • In 2009 there were nine ISPs in the country – MTC, Iway, MWeb, NamibNet,Oasys, Africa Online, Verizon, ITN, and Schoolnet Namibia. • 2012 statistics put Namibia at 201 000 using the internet (roughly 10% of the popolation).
Mobile media • “Everybody has a cell-phone” • Mobile service provider MTC (larger of two mobile service providers) – celebrated 2.5 active users in Nov. 2012 (more than current population). • Mobile services used mostly for communication via voice calls or text messaging. • Data usage is centered in larger urban areas in the north, coastal and central areas. • Social media platforms are accessed mostly via mobile platforms by users aged 16 – 25. • Of the 10% of Nambian population who areo on internet – 9.5% are on Facebook – and 9.7% of that is from mobile phones.
Mobile media • Not yet used widely for news media. There are some media houses which do provide text headlines at a cost. (NBC) • Very popular by organisations for sales promotional purposes (Discounts, competitions and other promotional activity) • Most widely applied by radio – interactive channel for presenters and personalities on radio
Radio TV Online
Advertising share • • • •
1. Newspapers (70%) 2. Radio (25%) 3. Television (4%) 4. Online (1%)
• Many due to production costs involved in broadcast. • Only early adopters on online front • Very little brand advertising taking place in Namibia and therefore print remains the most reliable and durable method for retail, employment and trade advertising.