Opportunities in the media landscape

Numbe Mubiana
Amidst the rise of technological advancement, the media landscape remains dynamic and flexible, continually evolving to meet the demands of an increasingly digital world. With the increased use of digital platforms daily by billions of individuals, the reach of modern media knows no limits.
Media agencies have a significant impact on this global network of information distribution since they use digital platforms to distribute content to people all over the world. From social media giants like Facebook and X to digital news outlets such as CNN and BBC, these agencies serve as the gatekeepers of information, shaping public discourse in an ever-shifting landscape.
As the world advances into a digital future, the question of whether the Namibian people are making use of the opportunities provided by the digital media landscape arises. In a nation with remarkable potential, the answer is complex. Although there have been efforts poured into embracing the digital world, there is still a gap between aspiration and implementation.
With a growing youth population at the forefront of technological innovation, Namibia stands poised to seize the opportunities presented by digital media. Yet, challenges such as limited access to the internet and digital literacy persist.
The Namibia Statistics Agency states that despite the challenges faced by the Namibian nation, signs of progress emerge, with initiatives aimed at bridging the digital divide gaining attention. Through the various efforts to enhance and improve digital literacy and increased access to the internet, Namibians are well set to unlock the full potential of the digital media landscape.
Shaping public discourse
The Namibian media landscape is comprised of various print, broadcast, and digital platforms which all play significant roles in shaping public discourse and disseminating information. With strong protection by the Namibian constitution, press freedom in our country is highly valued and considered to be amongst the most unrestricted in Africa.
Print media such as The Namibian, New Era and Namibian Sun provide thorough coverage of national and international news, politics, business, and cultural events.
Additionally, the media landscape includes a wide range of community and regional newspapers that serve various geographic areas and interests.
Both commercial and public radio and television stations are thriving in the field of broadcast media, catering to listeners around the country. The public broadcaster in Namibia, the NBC, runs several radio and television channels.
Other private broadcasters that provide news and entertainment include One Africa Television and Radio Energy.
Namibia is dedicated to promoting informed citizens and a lively public discourse, which is further demonstrated by this broad and active media landscape.
Digital media
According to a PwC analysis, the usage of digital media by demographics is revealed to be diverse, with people from all walks of life interacting with digital platforms in different ways. Social media use is still rising, as seen by the 5.04 billion active user identities that were recorded in January 2024.
This means that 63.2 % of people on the planet already use social media every month, or 94.2 % of internet users (PwC, 2021).
The digital media landscape crosses demographic and geographic barriers, with users ranging from urban millennials skimming through social media feeds to rural entrepreneurs using e-commerce platforms.
However, there are still differences, with patterns of digital media usage influenced by variables including age, income, and education. Rich urbanites enjoy constant connectivity and easy access to a wide range of digital services, but rural persons face poor connectivity and restricted access to digital resources.
In search of whether or not we as Namibians are embracing the digital landscape, various reports confirm that we are still using this new tool. As Namibia navigates the complexities of the digital age, addressing these challenges is paramount to ensuring inclusive access to the opportunities presented by the ever-changing media landscape.
* Numbe Mubiana is a Communications Practitioner.
** Opinion pieces and letters by the public do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial team. The editors reserve the right to abridge original texts. All newspapers of Namibia Media Holdings adhere to the Code of Ethics for Namibian Media, a code established jointly with the Media Ombudsman.