Roundtable on Media Viability in Namibia. 10 February 2023.


Date: 10 February 2023

Venue: The Village Opera House Windhoek, Namibia

Time: 08h00 – 13h00 CAT

Format: In-person

Opening remarks from event organisers (09:00 - 09:20)

Keynote presentations (09:25 - 09:45)

What is Media viability? How is it measured and achieved?

UNESCO research and global recommendations on media viability Roundtable discussion (09:45-11:00)

What have we learned from the business models being applied by the media in Namibia?

Coffee break (11:00–11:30)

Roundtable discussion (11:30 - 12:45)

Enabling environment for media viability: what is realistic and achievable?

Policy recommendations on media viability; what is applicable in Namibia?

Conclusions and next steps (12:45-13:00)

Foreword - Zoé Titus, Director, Namibia Media Trust (NMT)

The 2021 adoption of UNESCO’s Windhoek+30 Declaration reiterated that information is a vital public good, and ensuring its viability and independence is critical if we are to empower citizens to exercise their fundamental rights. It is for this reason that UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD), and the Namibia Media Trust (NMT) are organising a roundtable on media viability/sustainability in Namibia on February 3, 2023.

This discussion aims to engage all relevant stakeholders at the national level -- including local media organisations, scholars, public sector representatives, and donors -- to foster consensus on how Namibian and international actors identify potential policy solutions to address the needs of the Namibian media sector. The roundtable, this discussion paper, and the accompanying survey, will provide an opportunity to review the recommendations from the latest international, regional and Namibia-focused research and reports into how to foster an enabling environment for high- quality and independent media in Namibia.

As well as hopefully being a valuable contribution to the conversation and next steps within Namibia, the meeting will feed into the following international processes and fora via the work of GFMD and Unesco:

  • The OECD process to renew the principles for effective media development, which was given non-binding recognition by the IPDC Intergovernmental Council in November 2022.

  • The Media Development Working Group of the Media Freedom Coalition.

  • The Media Freedom Cohort of the Summit for Democracy, where GFMD is leading the sub group focusing on viability and sustainability of independent journalism. Ahead of the Summit for Democracy meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, 29-30 March 2023, GFMD is hosting a meeting that will bring together the findings and recommendations from the meetings in Namibia, Tunisia and Lebanon in order to present them to international policymakers, donors, tech representatives and others. We look forward to welcoming you to the roundtable discussion on February 10, 2023.


Literature review

In addition to the general literature on media viability, including UNESCO's latest research and reports, the consultation is informed by the following reports and studies specific to the Namibian context:

Regional and Namibian resources on media viability

Namibia’s Media: Facing the Digital Challenge, by Dietrich Remmert (the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), Namibia Media Trust (NMT), the Hanns Seidel Foundation, January 2019)

Health Crises and Media Discourses in Sub-Saharan Africa, editors Carol Azungi Dralega, Angella Napakol (24 May 2022)

"The state of press freedom in Namibia" (The Namibian, 3 May 2020)

Last updated