An investigation into how the Namibian print media industry is coping with contemporary economic conditions.

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This study provides an investigation into how Namibia’s print media industry is surviving under the current economic crisis, which has been affecting the country since 2016. This is done, firstly through examining how global media has been faring when their respective countries are suffering from an economic crisis. The examination revealed that newspapers operating in these countries are struggling and their existence is being threatened. The verdict is the same with the newspapers in Africa, whose sustainability is being intimidated by the economic crisis. In Namibia, print media newspapers are looking at new sustainable models to survive the economic recession. Just like globally and continentally, the sustainability of Namibia’s print media newspaper industry is being threatened by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which has killed millions of people and forced businesses to close since 2020. In order to collect data, the researcher employed document analysis, semi-structured questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Using the interpretivism paradigm as a qualitative methodology, the study relied upon both the trained researcher and the human subject as the instruments to measure some phenomena, and typically involves both observation and interviews. Six newspapers namely: The Namibian, Namibian Sun, New Era, The Southern Times, Windhoek Observer and the Confidente were purposely selected. At least 16 people from these newspapers were thoroughly interviewed. For these newspapers, it was ‘business as usual’ until their operations encountered an economic crisis in 2016. Their normal operations were further dented when the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crippled the global economy from early 2020. This study was informed by three interlinked sub-research objectives. These are: to examine how the print media has been affected by the current economic challenges; to investigate the coping mechanisms put in place by the print media in Namibia and to explore new business models emerging in Namibia’s print media to cope with the economic recession. The findings of this study indicates that some print media newspapers in Namibia were forced to go online while others reduced print runs with at least two ceased to exist. Other findings revealed that newspapers were forced to cut salaries, retrench employees and streamline operations as advertising revenues continued to dwindle. The study recommends the adoption of media sustainability models which are not only centered on ‘migrating online’ approaches but rather encompasses five interconnected dimensions; politics, economics, community, technology as well as content and expertise. It also recommends that newspapers should speed up the implementation of their new business models to ensure financial sustainability in a context characterised by economic recession and the Covid-19 pandemic.



An invest Namibian, print media industry, contemporary, economic conditions.


Shihepo, T. N. (2021). An investigation into how the Namibian print media industry is coping with contemporary economic conditions. [Master’s thesis, Namibia University of Science and Technology].