From Lüderitz With Love

Beatrice Prins

It was my first day at work. I was curious, nervous and full of anxiety. I was to work with the editorial team in the newsroom. My area of focus was primarily Lüderitz, but I was assigned to take on stories from ‘all over Namibia’. It was a totally different experience for me.

My very first challenge was to write an article for the front page the very next day! I struggled with it initially but finally, with the help of my colleagues, managed to put together the article titled, ‘Govt urged to compensate families with graves at Shark Island’.

The happiness of seeing my article with my byline in the newspaper the next day cannot be put into words. It encouraged me to work even harder. My interest in journalism grew every single day. Waking up early in the morning with a curiosity to see if the article got published with my byline was an experience in itself, one that is not easy to describe.

Every day has been a learning experience in terms of how to angle my story and what content to include. As a newbie writer in the field, I have learned to apply journalistic rules such as accuracy, balance, objectivity and fairness, among others.

Once you get to interact with different writers from several fields, you start to learn a lot from them. You learn to include a human face in every story, especially for a feature story. The gist of a feature story, for example, lies in highlighting the human aspect in order for readers to understand how it affects people.

I attended a workshop presented by Fortescue on green hydrogen, which also aided in broadening my knowledge on the intricate issue.

From my experience, it’s best to embrace changes which happen every now and then. A good example is outsourcing information. As a journalist, one can often generate content from the comfort of your phone and it does not always require physical representation.

The Namibian’s advocacy for media education and professional experience was a perfect fit for me, I felt. While passionate about media, I didn’t think I could keep up with the pressures of the traditional, fast-paced news media – especially given the self-doubt that was persistently worrying me.

It’s a matter of making the most of one’s opportunities to learn. I experienced a lot of firsts: being edited, seeing my byline published, even taking photographs for a story.

I gained confidence, finding my passion for the environment re-ignited while writing about the ‘dark cloud hanging over hydrogen project’.

Looking back, The Namibian provided a conducive environment for newbies, particularly someone like me who was struggling with the perceived pressures of my chosen field.

  • *Beatrice Prins spent two weeks at The Namibian head offices as part of a reporting project. She is currently a freelancer in Lüderitz. Contact her at or 081 479 9943.

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