|Story by Pamela Mate
The National Council held its first ever Media Open Day on Monday, 8 May 2017. The event was organised in an effort to strengthen the existing relationship between the National Council and the media as well as touch on inaccuracies reported in the media in reference to the National Council, National Assembly as well as Parliament as a whole. The day was also an opportunity for MP’s to meet the media in an informal setting and give an opportunity for dialogue to take place between law makers and the media.
In her statement, the Chairperson of the National Council, Hon. Margaret Mensah-Williams stressed the need for engagement between the Media and the National Council to allow for the flow of information and knowledge on the work and operations of the National Council. The Hon. Chairperson also clearly outlined the distinctions between the two Houses of Parliament, identifying the most common inaccuracies the media often makes in reference to the legislature.
With Parliament and the Media being key drivers in governance and democracy, the emphasis of the day was on a harmonious working relationship and balanced and fair reporting, specifically on the work of National Council. MISA Namibia Country Director, Ms. Natasha Tibinyane also addressed the gathering where she touched on the media landscape of Namibia and what the media and MP’s need to do to make optimal use of one another for the sake of information sharing and balanced reporting.
The various Media houses were well represented. After an interactive session between the MP’s and members of the Media, where both parties addressed burning issues and concerns raised were discussed, the Vice Chairperson of the National Council, Hon. Bernard Sibalatani closed the event off with a thank you note, specifically thanking all those present, as well as staff of the National Council Secretariat who worked to making the day a success.