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Business remains top priority

Natasja Beyleveld is the Managing Director of NaMedia, a local media monitoring company.

Natasja Beyleveld is the Managing Director of NaMedia, a local media monitoring company.

NaMedia’s data analysis of media coverage and trends for the period January to December 2013 confirms the popular notion that business coverage is still one of the main media priorities across all media platforms.
Media dedicated 36% of the general agenda to business issues, 8% to politics and economy, and 12% to sport. During 2013, sport received more coverage than politics, economics and crime with the latter making up only 9% of the national agenda.
“Gone are the days where international headlines dominate Namibian media content, with only 3% of our national agenda dedicated to foreign affairs” said NaMedia’s Managing Director, Natasja Beyleveld.
Beyleveld was officially recognised for her pioneering work in media monitoring when she won the Young Businesswoman of the Year award.

“For 2014, many CEOs and senior managers will continue to compete for media coverage to best position the public reputation of their company brands, however competition for the available media space will intensify as the media focus shifts towards the upcoming elections in Namibia” she said drawing attention to the expected impact of the general elections later this year.
She added “This will put pressure on Public Relation Officers (and supporting Executive Committees) towards the continuous evolvement of their communication strategies as to best introduce knowledgeable topics to the media status quo.”
NaMedia’s analysis shows that during 2013, the corporate sector most noticeably created coverage on public relations, products and services, and executives. The corporate sector generated more ‘hard stories’ than ‘soft stories’ with sponsorships ranking 9th and corporate social responsibility in general ranking 11th. Negative coverage most typically related to trials and litigations, employees (strikes, wage negotiations), union relations, government regulations and poor performing executives.
Listing the topics and issues that made headlines during 2013, Beyleveld said the drought gravely affected Namibia’s people and livestock, with crisis reports on related deaths, affected industries (food, dairies, agriculture, education to name a few), and corporate/economic/political/social intervention strategies. The corporate sector was quick to offer aid, unfortunately the government and international aid funds were criticised for a lack of intervention efficiency.
“Namibian media (print, radio, TV) are often repetitive of one another. Radio broadcasts especially, rely heavily on newspapers’ headlines to formulate their news content, but generally pursue a different focus on a month to month basis.  “Generally, the media is quick to pick up on negative stories, such as the NOVNAM pension fraud case, and the much-debated government housing plans. Other headline stories included oil drilling in Namibia, the government’s Voter Registration Drive, and the passing away of international icon, Nelson Mandela.

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