Geingob takes aim at media

05 Feb 2019 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 05 FEB (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob on Tuesday accused the local media of coming with preconceived or ulterior motives when reporting about him or Government.
Geingob made these remarks during the opening of the first decision-making Cabinet meeting at State House.
The Head of State lamented that even if they avail themselves to account to the public, journalists still find a way to distort information.
“When you are interviewed even for one hour, you give your time. When it is going to be published or broadcast, (it is just) one, disjointed voice overrun and therefore your message is not coming out,” he complained.
During the said interviews, the media waits until an official makes a by-the-way expression which they then base their article or report on.
“That expression becomes the main item. How do we educate our people when we distort the stories,” he said, adding that some media institutions were “out to get us”.
“It (should) not be about to get me. It (should be about) getting the information and to inform the nation. You are transmission belts,” he stressed.
As a consequence, ministers and senior public officials have developed resistance towards the media.
“You cannot blame this government of not being open to the press. Definitely not. But what do we get for our transparency in return? Wishy-washy reports,” he said.
“People come with preconceived notions. They have already decided what they are going to say in the newspaper,” he continued, suggesting that the interviews are done merely as a formality and not to get information.
He was quick to note, however, that media houses have the right to crucify him.
“Let my information be conveyed as I am giving (it). But in your editorials, you have the right to tear me to pieces but not in the news items,” he said, adding that the role of the media as the ‘fourth estate’ cannot be overemphasised.
Should this situation persist, Government will resort to other means to the have their side of the story heard.
“If need be, we will pay the NBC or One-on-One to put a paid version of the government. Distortion cannot be allowed to destroy what we are doing,” Geingob concluded.
(NAMPA)
MEM/PS/EK