Windhoek Observer

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Windhoek Observer
Windhoek Observer front page.jpg
Type Weekly newspaper
Owner(s) Paragon Investment Holding
Editor Kuvee Kangueehi
Founded 1978
Circulation 12,000-13,000 (as of 2009)

The Windhoek Observer is an English-language Saturday weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.[1] As of 2009 it had a circulation of 12,000 to 13,000 copies.[2]

The Windhoek Observer was founded in 1978 by Hannes Smith and Gwen Lister.[3] Lister was the political editor and wanted to give SWAPO, Namibia's liberation movement, "a 'human face', showing the people, including whites, that they were not the 'terrorists' and 'communists' and the 'black threat' that the colonial regime made them out to be through their blanket propaganda."[4]

The newspaper was officially banned in May 1984 after Lister travelled to Zambia to report on Namibian independence talks. Though the ban was lifted after an appeal to Pretoria's Publications Appeal Board, Observer management demoted her for having brought it on, triggering Lister's resignation and a walkout of the newspaper's staff. The following year, Lister began a new independent newspaper, The Namibian.[3]

Smith then ran the Windhoek Observer as a one-man operation, calling himself "reporter-in-chief". His daughter, Yanna Erasmus, later joined him at the newspaper.[1] Smith adopted a "hard-line editorial stance against those in authority"[1] and "did not bow to the South African nor the SWAPO government."[2]

After Smith's death in 2008, Erasmus took over as editor.[5] The following year, the newspaper was sold to Paragon Investment Holding, and Kuvee Kangueehi was appointed editor.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Founder of Windhoek Observer, Hannes Smith, dies at 75". 5 August 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Rothe, Andreas (2010). Media System and News Selections in Namibia. LIT Verlag. p. 36. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Gwen Lister, Namibia". International Press Institute. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  4. ^ Baumann, Jessica (19 January 2012). "Gwen Lister Shepherded Newspaper through Tumultuous Times, Promotes Media Progress in Namibia". International Women's Media Foundation. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  5. ^ Menges, Werner (3 February 2009). "New editor and owner for Windhoek Observer". The Namibian. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 

External links[edit]

Official website