Angola: Mass media

Extracted from: Miguel de Brito 2009 "Chapter 2: Angola" IN Denis Kadima and Susan Booysen (eds) Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa 1989-2009: 20 Years of Multiparty Democracy, EISA, Johannesburg, 46-47.

All media with nationwide reach, including radio, the most influential medium outside Luanda, are state-owned. Television, the private press, and internet access are very limited outside the capital city. State-run Radio Nacional de Angola (RNA) is the only outlet to offer programmes in indigenous languages, and is the only available broadcaster across much of the country. Pay-TV services are operated by MultiChoice Angola and TV Cabo.

Print media (BBC 2009):

  • Jornal de Angola - state-run national daily
  • Angolense - private weekly, Luanda
  • Semanario Angolense - private weekly, Luanda
  • Folha 8 - private weekly, Luanda
  • A Capital - private weekly, Luanda
  • Actual - private weekly, Luanda
  • Agora - private weekly, Luanda
  • Cruzeiro do Sul - private weekly, Benguela

Television:

  • Televisao Popular de Angola (TPA) - state-run, operates national Canal 1, and Canal 2 in Luanda
  • TV Zimbo - privately-owned

Radio:

  • Radio Nacional de Angola (RNA) - state-run, operates Canal A, sports network Radio 5, Radio
  • Ngola Yetu, Radio FM Stereo and provincial station Radio Luanda
  • Radio Ecclesia - Roman Catholic FM station
  • Luanda-Antena Comercial - private, Luanda
  • Radio Escola - private, Luanda
  • Radio Morena - private, Benguela
  • Radio Benguela - private, Benguela
  • Radio 2000 - private, Lubango
  • Radio Commercial de Cabinda - private, Cabinda

News agency/internet: Angola Press (Angop) - state-run, English-language pages.

Both private and public media are required to provide free and equal time to candidates and parties, according to a programme laid out by the CNE. In 2008 all competing parties and coalitions were given five minutes of TV time and 10 minutes of radio time daily for campaigning spots. These times were respected. However, it was felt that coverage of campaign events and public engagements of government officials, including President dos Santos by the public media, especially TV, gave disproportionate advantage to the MPLA as ruling party. The MPLA argued that the attention it received by the media was due to the fact that the MPLA held many more campaign events than the other parties.

Editor's note

The press is governed by Lei de Imprensa 2006 (Press Law 2006). According to Article 19 (2006, 1): "It has been reported that one of its most important features is that it opens television broadcasting to the private sector, ending the current state monopoly as well as the state monopoly on agency news. The new Law is also said to establish principles of prohibition of censorship, freedom of the press, and access to information sources. It defines the National Council of Social Communication as the competent agency in charge of ensuring the independence, objectivity, and pluralism of information in Angola. The new Law also eliminates a provision that existed in the previous legislation that had prevented journalists from defending themselves in court when accused of defamation by the President of the Republic. With reference to journalists' liabilities, the new legislation stipulates the application of penal law to situations in which journalists violate the law in the exercise of their profession and favors the application of monetary penalties in lieu of jail time".

Human Rights Watch, in a report analysing the new law (2006, 2), welcomed these measures, but warned that: "The law defines certain conduct as "criminal" in unclear and sweeping terms and establishes excessive penalties for those crimes, including defamation; it includes provisions that may result in excessive limitations on press freedom; and it provides for the establishment of licensing procedures for private TV and radio broadcasters that are largely subject to the discretion of governmental bodies".

Online news websites

AngolaPress, [www] http://www.angolapress-angop.ao/ [English, French, Portuguese; opens new window] (accessed 29 Mar 2010).

Jornal de Angola, [www] http://www.jornaldeangola.com/ [Portuguese; opens new window] (accessed 29 Mar 2010).

Semanario Angolense, [www] http://www.semanarioangolense.net/ [Portuguese; opens new window] (accessed 29 Mar 2010).

References

ARTICLE 19 2006 "ANGOLA - Freedom of Expression and Elections Update No. 1", [www] http://www.article19.org/pdfs/press/angola-elections-1st-update.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 29 Mar 2010).

BBC 2009 "Angola country profile", [www] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/country_profiles/1063073.stm [opens new window] (accessed 29 Mar 2010)

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH 2006 Still Not Fully Protected: Rights to Freedom of Expression and Information under Angola's New Press Law, 18(11(A)), November, [www] http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/angola1106webwcover_0.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 29 Mar 2010).