No feasibility study done for NBC’s 24-hour news broadcast

07 Jun 2018 20:10pm
WINDHOEK, 07 JUN (NAM) – In the midst of a financial crisis and unsettled employees, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) has not conducted a feasibility study to determine the viability of its envisaged 24-hour news broadcast channel.
NBC’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Vezenga Kauraisa confirmed this during an interview with Nampa on Thursday, saying there were no funds available to finance a feasibility study.
“We haven’t made a feasibility study as you are enquiring. But all we are saying is that we have benchmarked and we had our internal meetings in terms of that,” said Kauraisa.
A feasibility study is a type of analysis used in measuring the ability and likelihood to successfully complete a project including all relevant factors.
Kauraisa said NBC has the internal capacity to determine the 24-hour news channel’s viability while not revealing how much the national broadcaster intends to spend on or needs to finance the 24-hour news channel.
However, he noted that they will do everything possible within their limited funds and workforce to have the channel up and running.
Joining Kauraisa was Menesia Muinjo, NBC’s Chief News and Programming Officer, who suggested that a scientific study could be done to this effect, as has been the case in the past.
“We have been having a scientific research for the audience to see what they like… those on our platforms. There is information on what the audience want. For example, news came out as top,” said Muinjo.
It was against those findings that NBC arrived to a conclusion to have a 13h00 and 22h00 television bulletin, she said.
Additionally, NBC is guided by information from focus groups and audience research conducted across different social media platforms, according to Muinjo.
To back NBC’s plans to have a 24-hour news channel, Muinjo said they are facing stiff competition from social media.
“News is timeous and social media has been on us and you cannot have only one bulletin at 20h00, you lose the audience. So, it’s based on that and guided by the leadership and our strategic objectives,” she explained, adding that NBC intends to become the leading broadcaster on the African continent.
Amid this, there are concerns from NBC’s employees that the entity is not ready, both financially and in terms of human capital to have a 24-hour news channel.
“These people are just wasting resources. Already, they can’t pay our back pay, we are understaffed and overworked. Yet you are talking about 24-hours broadcast. Let them put it on hold until we are in a financial position to do so,” said a senior official who preferred anonymity.
On Thursday, over 100 NBC employees took to the street in petition over unpaid overtime, outstanding salary increment and the settlement of accrued arrears.