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Ministry, NSC squable spills on reporters

2024-03-14  Limba Mupetami

Ministry, NSC squable spills on reporters

THE communication gap between the ministry of sports and the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) has affected local sports reporters as well as how Namibian media reported on the ongoing African Games in Ghana, resulting in embarrasing last-minute substitution at the airport.

Last week, three local reporters from media institutions, including the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (a reporter and camera operator), and one reporter from New Era, were instructed to return home from the airport just before boarding the plane for Accra. 

They were replaced by three other reporters, two from the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation and one from Confidente.

The senior sports reporter from New Era was the preferred choice selected by their employer to travel, contrary to the ministry of sports preference for a junior reporter. This unexpected change left a sour taste for those affected, as plans were disrupted at the last moment.

Speaking anonymously, for fear of reprisal, one reporter expressed disappointment, stating, “plans were made, and arrangements put in place, just to be informed at the airport that I must go home.” Another junior reporter explained the hierarchy system in their workplace, where senior reporters have priority for covering competitions, and juniors fill in when seniors are unavailable.

The executive director of the ministry of sports Mbumba Haitengela clarified that they had vetted journalists and had a list of preferred travellers. However, the NSC amended the list, leading to confusion at the airport. Haitengela emphasised the importance of journalists delivering news and sharing it with everyone on the ground, rather than focusing on personal activities like taking selfies on trips. He suggested rotating sports journalists to provide equal opportunities for coverage and accountability for performance.

The NSC’s Challo Chainda, who was also in charge of plans of the Ghana trip, did not respond to requests for clarifications sought by this publication ahead of print on what transpired and why reporters were switched. 


2024-03-14  Limba Mupetami

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