Attacks on the Press in 1997 - Namibia
|Publisher||Committee to Protect Journalists|
|Publication Date||February 1998|
|Cite as||Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1997 - Namibia, February 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c565432.html [accessed 21 September 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
President Sam Nujoma and government officials have displayed increasing hostility toward the media. Their intolerance, coupled with their rhetorical attacks on the press, threaten to irreparably damage the country's reputation as one of Africa's most solid democracies. Local and international media organizations, including the Journalists Association of Namibia, strongly protested government officials' sweeping public statements characterizing the media as irresponsible for publishing leaked state reports.
Pending legislation, such as the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act of 1996, threatens to restrict the media, which to date have been free to practice their profession. The act would grant parliamentary committees the right to subpoena journalists and force them to reveal their sources, and it would also bar journalists from interviewing members of parliament about pending legislation that is the subject of debate.
State-owned television and radio stations regularly air reports critical of the government, and private radio stations and independent newspapers operate without much government interference. The electronic media are primarily state-controlled.