NUST to create reporting tool kit on indigenous communities

WINDHOEK: The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) is developing a reporting tool kit on indigenous communities for the media which is expected to be finalised by the end of March 2024.

The toolkit is being developed by the university’s Journalism and Media Technology Department and aims to train students and journalists on effective reporting to ensure that stories represent the sources.

Speaking at a media conference here Tuesday, NUST Acting Executive Dean for the Faculty of Computing and Informatics, Fungai Shava said the critical function of journalism, which is the production of news as a representation of people from diverse backgrounds in terms of cultural, religious, class, racial, and gender identities, will be encompassed in the tool kit.

‘This is because, in this latter point, the media has often failed, especially in respect of marginalised social groups and minorities such as indigenous communities, more so when it comes to reporting on these communities,’ said Shava.

Shava ad
ded that by developing this tool kit, the department will be at the forefront of global efforts aimed at creating more equal and inclusive societies.

Media Ombudsman John Nakuta on his part urged journalists to train themselves to accurately tell the truth and report in a way that honours the sources.

Nakuta further said his office plans to create codes of good practice for the media as part of his final outgoing project, stating, ‘We can’t perpetuate these stereotypes because of lack of knowledge.’

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) funded 10 African nations as part of its Promoting Excellence in Journalism Education in Africa Project. A grant was awarded to NUST through the University of Witwatersrand (WITS) in South Africa.

As part of developing the toolkit, the university in February visited Opuwo in the Kunene region, home to the majority of the Ovahimba people, and Donkerbos in the Omaheke region, a community east of Gobabis, home to the San people to lear
n from and experience firsthand accounts.

From these experiences, they are creating a reporting toolkit, three research papers, journals, and stories which will be published after review by community leaders on behalf of the communities that the students engaged to ensure accuracy and fairness, before being published by various media houses.

Source:The Namibia Press Agency