Sunday 11 April 2021
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A dignified approach to The Patriot’s 1st anniversary

Saturday, March 18 marks exactly one year to the day when The Patriot released its first edition.
One year is probably too short a journey in the complex world of newspapers to be celebrating, but for an industry where new publications typically tend to fade quickly after only a few issues on the newsstands, we have remained regular on the stands since we hit the local newspaper market.
This in itself is an achievement worth celebrating no matter how modest, it deserves an equally modest celebration. That is what anniversaries are for anyways.
But in all honesty, it has not been an easy ride, not that we expected it to be smooth-sailing, but the competition and ferocity in which media houses carry out their work keeps you on your toes day and night.
The media industry in Namibia is so small everyone basically has to scramble for the same news tips, adverts, journalists and so on, but that does not allow one to be idle and feel sorry for yourself.
Our slogan remains “balanced and fair”, that is our moral compass as we go about our work on a daily basis. Ours is not to dictate who is right or who is wrong, ours is simply to present the facts and leave it to the reader to make their own judgment.
The media in Namibia continues to operate independently from any systems that could negatively affect its editorial content, although there are some slight irritations here and there, it is nothing major to worry about.
As the fourth estate, I believe all media houses are cognisant of the role they have to play to shape the country’s future.
We continue to offer the public an alternative newspaper with an editorial content incorporating the established values of traditional journalism but designed to meet the demands and challenges of new media technologies. This has dramatically changed the styles of presentation and dissemination of information.
The past year has been tough for the entire country, be it from a governance, political or economic perspective and the media played a big role when it came to keeping the citizenry informed about events as they unfold. At times, it felt as if the media and government were on two opposite ends, but it is my conviction that both are fighting for the same course, which is to grow the country and better the lives of all those who live in it.
President Hage Geingob has been one that has constantly hogged the front pages of newspapers – be it for good or bad reasons – but I am sure when he availed himself to run for President he knew it was not going to be an easy ride.
The nation continues to criticise and congratulate him because they remain hopeful instead of going silent and wandering off into the darkness.
Namibians are hopeful that the light at the end of the railway tunnel is not that of an oncoming train but rather a light of hope that the country will reach its maximum potential.
Although technology continues to threaten the existence of the print media, our team remains convinced that the two can co-exist, especially when considering the fact that half of the 7 billion global population does not use the internet to access newspapers online.
The number of internet users has increased from 738 million in 2000 to 3.2 billion in 2015, according to the International Telecommunication Union.
Those excluded from the internet domain still need to be informed, educated and entertained.
As I conclude, I want to pay special homage to our columnists during the past year such as Lamech Amugongo, Dr Carlos Lopes, Dr Marius Kudumo, Rakkel Andreas, Hennie and Jana Gous, Rodney Dan-Ao Hoaeb, Kassian Amesho, Paul Shipale, Dr David Emvula, Judge Chris Greenland, Michael Akuupa and Matthias Ngwangwama.
Your valued contributions and critical analysis on issues in our country continue to open the minds and hearts of thousands of Namibians and at the same time help our leaders to make informed policy decisions.
On this occasion, we extend our sincere gratitude to our vendors, printers, advertisers and readers and urge you to support our development and growth in years to come.
A hearty thank you from the team.

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