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Lusa - Business News - Angola: Journalists union accuses government of trying to silence broadcasters

Luanda, April 21, 2021 (Lusa) - The president of the Union of Angolan Journalists (SJA), Teixeira Cândido, has told Lusa that there has been an "attempt to silence" two broadcasters, Record and Vida TV, so limiting the diversity of information in the country.
On Monday, Angola's government announced that it would suspend, as of Wednesday, the activity of the Record network, as well as newspapers, magazines, websites and radio stations that have not been active for the last two years, after detecting what it said were "legal inconsistencies" - a suspension that includes ZAP Viva and Vida TV, two online content producers.
"This decision puts an end to the little diversity of information we have," Cândido told Lusa, maintaining also that the government does not have the powers to suspend the latter two producers.
"Our legislation does not impose the same requirements on these content producers as it does on media operators," he said. "They are not television operators and do not have the obligation to set themselves up as a news company."
Asked about the editorial line followed by these publications, he replied that "these two content producers do what any newspaper anywhere in the world does: all voices can express their opinions, they are balanced and give space to all.
"Those who cannot speak for the public media can speak for these two content producers, who have done everything that is commendable from a journalism point of view," he said, lamenting the government's decision.
"We see no grounds other than the possibility of silencing these bodies," he said. "It is not an administrative or bureaucratic issue; it is obvious that it may represent a silencing. It makes no sense to remember now that they are not legal, Record has been here since 2005 and the ministry has never said anything."
The Ministry for Telecommunications, Information Technology and Media (MINTTICS) noted that the company Rede Record de Televisão (Angola), Limitada, which is responsible for TV Record Africa, has a foreign national as its managing director.
It also said that foreign staff at Record Angola, working as journalists in the country, were not accredited at the state Aníbal de Melo Press Centre (CIAM), resulting in "legal inconsistencies" that had prompted the suspension, as of midnight on Tuesday, of the television broadcasting activities of the companies Rede Record de Televisão Angola Limitada/Record TV África and of the foreign journalists linked to them.
Record is owned by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD), an entity founded in Brazil but whose leadership in Angola is being disputed by the Brazilian and Angolan leaderships. Recently officially recognised by the government, it has of late released several reports critical of the government, claiming that Brazilian religious have been targets of xenophobia in Angola.
MINTTIC also found that the pay-TV providers TV Cabo, DSTV Angola and FINSTAR (owner of ZAP TV), although duly legalised, distribute the channels ZAP Viva, Vida TV and Rede Record "without the registration to exercise television activity in Angola".
The statement also announced the suspension of provisional registrations of newspapers, magazines, news websites and radio stations with no effective activity in the last two years.


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2021-04-22 10:27:51


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