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Media demands higher quality art

(L-R) Delia Magg-Thesenvitz from What’s On Namibia, Christine Hugo, the General Manager at Radio 99Fm and Maria Indogo, Head: Content Hub at NBC TV, at the Art Talk discussion earlier this week where participants discussed a propsed closer relationship between artists and the media. (Photograph by Mandisa Rasmeni)

ArtNam had their first Art Talk for the year this week Tuesday at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC) with the theme ‘The Media & Us’. The event was an open discussion of cultural and entertainment reporting in Namibia. Guest presenters included Maria Indongo, Head: Content Hub, NBC TV, Christine Hugo, General Manager, 99 FM and Delia Magg-Thesenvitz, What’s On Namibia. Maria Ingongo talked about how the NBC is promoting artists and what new products and programmes they have in place to make Namibian artists more visible to the general public. She also mentioned that artist should bring quality work because even if the NBC opens slots for Namibian artist, the quality of work is often not up to standard.

Radio 99Fm’s Christine Hugo emphasised that artist should market themselves as a brand and sell themselves to the various media they prefer to carry stories of their work and lives. She also added that they should know who they are, what they stand for and have future plans; not only plans for the year but also long-term plans and goals. She advised artists to visit the various media houses and introduce themselves to build a relationship with them and if they do not know how to do something, ask or surf the net to find out how to do things like writing a press release. Delia Magg-Thesenvitz added that her website is there to help the artists advertise their events free of charge, to introduce them to local, national and international audiences. She also said it is very easy to process artists and their portfolios, adding that artists must just ask her help if they get stuck uploading their events. After the presentations an open discussion was held with the panel consisting of Robin Tyson, Media Trainer, University of Namibia, Natasha Tibinyane, Director, Media Institute of Southern Africa, Namibia, Selma Kaulinge, Communications Officer, National Arts Gallery of Namibia, Lize Ehlers, Performance Artist and Gordon Joseph, a journalist at the Namibian Sun. During the discussion it was generally agreed that artists need to step up their game and stop producing mediocre products, while the media should be more patriotic and not make artists feel like second class citizens. Some contributors asked for a specific policy for artists to prevent them from being sent from pillar to post trying to get their stories across to the public. “Artists and the media should work together to come up with solutions to show the nation that the talent is out there.”

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