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Proliferation of fake news in Namibia is a growing concern for credible media outlets

Proliferation of fake news in Namibia is a growing concern for credible media outlets

The Editors’ Forum of Namibia announced this week that it will revive the annual media awards during next year to give recognition to the work of journalists that raises the standard of reporting.

The forum held its Annual General Meeting last week Friday, 09 November 2018. A number of resolutions and strategic decisions derived from this meeting.

Editors’ Forum chairman, Joseph Ailonga reported that the organisation will continue with training workshops and advocacy.

In particular, he expressed concern that the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Hon Stanley Simataa, and the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia continue not to pronounce themselves on the forum’s Code of Ethics and Conduct as required by law.

Another challenge, according to Ailonga, is fake news. He warned that reputable media should work to counter it to guarantee the credibility of journalism.

The forum’s Executive Committee said it will host another fundraising dinner next year following the success of this year’s inaugural fundraiser. The proceeds are intended to support the Media Ombudsman and the forum’s secretariat.

Media Ombudsman, John Nakuta, reported to the AGM that since his appointment on 01 September 2017, he had on average received two complaints per month from the public. Following a recent incident, Nakuta said the Editors’ Forum Code of Ethics and Conduct for print, broadcast and online media reflects best practice in journalism but it has limitations.

For instance, the Media Ombudsman does not have jurisdiction over non-members, freelance journalists and advertising agencies and their agents. Furthermore, his office was under-funded preventing the employment of two more interns to help with research and with updating the Media Ombudsman website.

The forum further confirmed that the acting Secretary General, Ronelle Rademeyer, will continue to serve in that capacity until next year’s Annual General Meeting which will be held in the third quarter of 2019. This decision was unanimous.


 

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