Namibia: Women Journalists Have Long Way to Go – Lister

Organisers of the second edition of the Nedbank Women in Media Conference that took place over the weekend have described the event as “a resounding success”.

Themed ‘Alike in so many ways’, the conference was organised to commemorate World Press Freedom Day, as well as to try and foster a strong network amongst Namibian women working in the media industry.

This year’s event was different from last year, as it also incorporated women who work in corporate communications and public relations.

Among the speakers were veteran journalist and press freedom activist, Gwen Lister; chief news and programming officer at Namibia Broadcasting Corporation, Menesia Muinjo; trade economist, Paulina Elago; communications and PR manager at Nedbank Namibia, Selma Kaulinge; and veteran journalist, Nomhle Kangootui.

They shared challenges women in media face, as well as the achievement made over the years. The speakers also guided the improvements needed for women to be able to truly thrive in the industry.

In her address, Lister shared her experience of how she manoeuvred her path to the top during the apartheid era, despite arrests, threats and assassination attempts, in a quest to fight for press freedom in the country.

She also touched on topics of women who create the media, as well as how women are portrayed in the media.

“We still have a very long way to go, in terms of both how the media reports on women and secondly the progress of women in journalism and the extent to which they have been able to crack but not really break through the glass ceiling,” said Lister.

She further challenged women working in media to always allow the reader to make informed choices by practising quality reporting.

“It is critical that women journalists raise their level of reporting professionalism to ensure that people are properly informed when they have to make life or death choices based on what the media is providing,” she added.

Also speaking at the same event, Muinjo emphasised the important role information and media play in society.

“The change a story can bring may be seen as something very small to some, but it is important to other people who are being informed. The media has the power to change the face of the country, an individual, or an organisation,” she said.

Attendees consisted of women who work in the media, as well as women students who are studying toward careers in media.

Conference co-founder, Limba Mupetami said it was evident that all the women in the audience were inspired by the initiative.

“I do believe that the students who attended the event have walked away with positive thoughts regarding what the media and corporate communication jobs offer. We are positive that this platform has made an impact on them, and we are already looking forward to next year’s event,” said the sports journalist.

She hinted that next year’s event will be even bigger and better.

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