Financial institutions and their representatives grab most of the media’s attention
Tim Ekandjo of MTC, Jerome Mutumba of the Development Bank, Baronice Hans of Bank Windhoek, Vetumbuavi Mungunda of Standard Bank, Martin Inkumbi, also of the Development Bank, Elzita Beukes of FNB Namibia and Alex Shimuafeni of the Namibia Statistics Agency, individually collected the highest media exposure during 2018, according to a report released last week by NaMedia, the local professional media monitoring company.
NaMedia Managing Director, Natasja Beyleveld said their latest report covers 46 media institutions across the spectrum of print, broadcast and digital. Exposure is ranked according to a number of set parametres, and each item is eventually designated either positive or negative.
Most noticeable is that the financial services sector is the dominant media topic followed by economic issues and then social interests. Banks, however, featured far more for their sponsorships to a vast range of beneficiaries than for pure financial or operational events.
Economic reporting, as can be expected, pivoted around the housing dilemma, the national budget, poverty, the dire state of the economy, unemployment, retrenchments, inflation, household debt, subsidies, strikes and the general poor state of parastatal governance.
Many of these issues cut over to the social sphere where the media focussed on inequality, violence, racketeering, poverty, crime, transport, health and education.
Different from 2017, most public debates were led by the business sector, and noticeably driven by a majority female journalists.
“It is noteworthy that more than 10% of all media coverage directed public focus to projects that boost any attempt for economic growth. Amongst corporates, all public relations on corporate products and services were top of message recall. In comparison, the media generated minimal awareness on lack of health care services while coverage on housing was directed to land reform and redistribution, the land conference, housing affordability, and developments in the construction industry,” noted Beyleveld.
The good “stuff” relates to what corporates did seemingly right in the public eye, which received positive reporting. Top of the list are corporate social responsibility projects like the Cancer Apple project, the Buy-A-Brick campaign and the 081NATION campaign.
“We believe that 2019 will continue an agenda keen on social upliftment, brilliant partnerships enhancing customer service experiences, family orientated public events, great (not good) thought leadership, and a keen interest in the growth prospects of manufacturing and infrastructure development that would lead to a connected and export-ready economy, and basically anything that would create a better tomorrow,” Beyleveld concluded.
2018’s media coverage was analysed across various languages including Oshiwambo, English, Afrikaans, Otjiherero, Silozi, and German. The study is based on a statement-by-statement content analysis of all editorial coverage with a focus on political, corporate, and topical news.