WHAT!?: NBC misleads with report on Venaani talking about teenage pregnancy

Screenshot_2019-11-29 PDM leader says too much freedom of information contributes to teenage pregnancies

What!?

The statements, information and/or data referenced in this article have been assessed and found to be outlandish and/or over exaggerated.

29th November 2019

Frederico Links

Frederico Links is the editor and lead researcher of Namibia Fact Check and a research associate at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

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Image courtesy: www.nbc.na

At no point in the report does Venaani say access to information contributes to the Namibian teenage pregnancy rate.

 

On 28 October 2019, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) ran a story on its television and online news channels under the headline ‘PDM leader says too much freedom of information contributes to teenage pregnancies‘.

In its introduction the NBC story states:

Leader of the official opposition in the National Assembly McHenry Venaani says too much freedom of information and accessibility of the internet contribute to teenage pregnancies.

The PDM leader apparently made such remarks during a parliamentary contribution in the National Assembly on a matter that the NBC report described as follows:

Venaani was contributing to the debate on a committee report on the motion questioning the impact of Namibia’s high rate of teenage pregnancies.

However, the online report does not quote Venaani saying that too much access to information is contributing to teenage pregnancies. In fact, what the PDM leader said was:

We should control our children. At what age must a child get a cellphone? I think that control is very important. Because I don’t believe that a nine-year-old should be given a cellphone.”

The NBC video clip of Venaani saying this, is below:

 

The NBC report appears to imply that denying a child a cellphone is denying the child access to information, which is not the same thing. But that is not the subject of this fact check report.

Regardless of the factual basis of Venaani’s claims or views on or about access information and teenage pregnancies, the NBC report in this case fell short of journalistic reporting standards in fairly representing the views and statements of the quoted source and misleads the public in terms of what a prominent political figure actually said and/or implied with his words.

In light of this, the NBC report is wholly misleading and clearly not in conformance with ethical journalistic reporting standards.

 

 

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