Namibia on Monday concluded the hosting of the 2021 World Press Freedom Day, which saw an array of young journalists from various countries flocking to the Safari court to take part in the Youth Newsroom.
The Youth Newsroom ran on the sidelines of the WPFD conference and was staffed by 26 young people from Namibia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kingdom of Eswatini, Malawi, Montenegro, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Uruguay, Malaysia, the Philippines and China.
Youth Corner caught up with some of these participants to find out what the event meant to them as young professionals.
Keanen Campbell (23) Namibia
As a new person in this field of study, I am now well-equipped with the know-how on producing and publishing information based on facts and evidence. I would say these are the top things and very important things I can confidently say I got from participating in the Youth Newsroom.
Rejoice Hausiku (20) Namibia
The World Press Freedom Day conference allowed me to experience journalism on a more practical level. The protection of journalists and women journalists, in particular, is what interested me most. Journalists have always been at risk - and more so women. Protecting women in the newsroom and dismantling sexism and misogyny will become my goal.
Reason Razao (25) Zimbabwe
Attending the conference has broadened my perspective on the agent's need to address the working environment for journalists, seeing that most journalists across the continent and the world are victims of authoritarian regimes that suppress the freedom of expression directly and indirectly. I have learnt that there is a need for coordinated efforts from different journalists to raise awareness on the need for a safe environment to carry out their duties as vehicles of information, seeing that information is an enabler in enhancing the society to make informed decisions and also to participate in social, economic and political spheres of their respective countries.
Elina Shifotoka (20) Namibia
What I learnt from the conference is that journalists all over the world face many obstacles - both within and outside the newsroom. Being there taught me the value of reporting fairly and unbiased, as well as reporting without fear of retaliation or intimidation.
Said Ayubu Luambano (25) Tanzania
I learnt a lot about how the media should be handled and how it's very important to verify news before publishing it to the public. It also encourages me to understand other African journalists' cultures, and creating exposure and making friends, so I am very happy to participate in this World Press Freedom Day.
Foibe Shahepa (22) Namibia
Journalism is a ruthless and demanding profession. Even though most journalists, especially women, are vulnerable to online attacks, this conference demonstrated to me that I can report the news honestly, accurately, objectively and critically as a female journalist without fear.
Robyn Apollus (23) Namibia
What I learnt from the experience of the World Press Freedom Day Conference is teamwork, allowing the community to help you help the community. Working collectively and interpreting opinions is something I found so powerful.
Ashley Jantjies (24) Namibia
I came here to just intern but left with so much more. I have gained friends and networked with experts in the industry. If I ever felt like giving up on pursuing my degree in journalism, this opportunity made me realise why I applied for it. I now, more than ever, want to be a journalist. I gained so many insights that I will need to excel as a journalist, and not only from all the experts who came to give their views on issues concerning press freedom. I learned from my fellow newsroom colleagues - a group of people from different cultural backgrounds came together because we are passionate about journalism.
Nokwanda Sibanze (25) The Kingdom of Eswatini
Attending the World Press Freedom Day Conference has been a career-changing experience - from learning more about the craft to gaining a better understanding of it. The conference has also resuscitated my passion and love for the craft. There are countless sessions that I attended and learnt from - and I am proud to say I will be putting into practice every lesson taken from them. -email@example.com