You know what? I’m not mad at Lazarus Jacobs - NBC’s chairman. Neither should the striking workforce be. I honestly think the anger is misdirected.
The striking workforce of the national broadcaster should actually direct their frustrations towards the shareholder...the government of the Republic of Namibia. If there is one thing the pandemic taught us is that the media is essential. Media is key, media is just as important as any other sector.
The lack of respect towards the industry and assumption that the media sector is but a hobby-driven industry, quickly evaporated during this pandemic.
If I may ask...what was or is one of the biggest problems governments worldwide face with this pandemic? Misinformation!
The national broadcaster along with other private media houses were key during a time of crazy confusion fuelled by misinformation.
The national broadcaster along with other private media houses created talk shows, segments, information sessions, etc that provided facts, thus acting as the voice of reason during an uncertain time.
I mention all of this because one would think that our governing elders, after all these glaring facts, would realise that the media industry, in this case the national broadcaster, deserves the respect of the treasury.
Cutting NBC’s subsidy by 62% during the 2021/2022 financial year is hardly installing confidence in an organisation that was and still is so key.
Here we are...a country struggling to combat misinformation regarding vaccines.
Do we really need our national broadcaster off-air at such a critical time? There’s honestly nothing Laza and the board can do.
The Government of the Republic of Namibia, as the shareholder, needs to move past its primitive misconceptions about the importance of media and avail the necessary funds to arrest this impasse and not just pay lip service at press conferences.
No media house can run without its human resource. You cannot automate Blanche Gorases. You cannot automate Denver Kisting. You cannot automate Leevi Lee Abrahams, and all the camera operators, journalists, producers and everybody else who bring content to our screens.
Dear shareholder, avail the funds, enough to not only meet the demands of the striking workforce, but also for sustainability.
Until the next Loop, we say #GMTM
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