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TV Zimbo rejects censorship charges against journalist Carlos Rosado de Carvalho

TV Zimbo rejected this Monday accusations of censorship at the end of the collaboration of journalist Carlos Rosado de Carvalho with television, assuring that it maintains an editorial line "of openness" that does not yield to "threats and shouting".

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

At stake is the end of the collaboration of journalist Carlos Rosado de Carvalho in the economic analysis section "Directo ao Ponto", usually broadcast on Saturday at the end of Jornal da Noite, which is being interpreted in Luanda as an act of censorship by the station.

Last Saturday, Carlos Rosado de Carvalho announced, through his Twitter account, to have put an "end" to the collaboration after being told that it was not "opportune" to approach in that rubric the theme "Edeltrudes Costa" as he had suggested.

"The 'Edeltrudes Costa case' was the theme of Directo ao Ponto this Saturday. Friday, Zimbo TV told me that the subject 'was not opportune', asking me to 'schedule another one'. Obviously I didn't accept," wrote the economist on the social network.

Edeltrudes Costa, chief of staff to the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, is said to have benefited from contracts with the state that have earned him millions of dollars, according to an investigation by the Portuguese television channel, TVI.

The Union of Angolan Journalists (SJA) and the Institute for Social Communication of Southern Africa of Angola have condemned what they consider an "act of censorship" by TV Zimbo and have expressed solidarity with journalist Carlos Rosado de Carvalho.

In a note issued this Monday, the Management Commission of the station explained that the choice and approval of the themes suggested by the collaborators is "in the first instance the direction of informative contents", stating that the "Edeltrudes Costa case" was not on the editorial agenda of the "Direct to the Point" section on October 1.

Pointing out the "great insistence" with which Carlos Rosado Carvalho wanted to approach this subject, the leaders of TV Zimbro are "surprised" with the refusal to approach another subject and with the use of social networks to "make believe that in TV Zimbro a climate of widespread censorship had been installed".

The management, on the other hand, regretted the "hasty manner" based on "unfounded and irresponsible information" such as the JSA issued a statement condemning "pseudo acts of censorship" on the station.

"TV Zimbro reaffirms, before the viewers, its commitment to continue the process of responsible openness that is incumbent upon it, maintaining its editorial line, but without giving in to radical voices, threats and shouting from anyone," the note states.

"Democracy implies balance, serenity and compliance with rules," he concluded.

In a reaction to this case, UNITA expressed concern over "the curtailment of freedom of expression and the press in recent months" in the country, pointing to "content censorship" on Zimbo TV as the most recent case.

It also denounced what it considers "the growing practice of censorship in other public bodies, especially TPA and RNA [public television and radio], where there is no equal treatment of political forces and sectors of civil society critical of the regime," contradicting promises to liberalize the media sector.

TV Zimbo, Rádio Mais, and the newspaper O País, all from the Media Nova group, were handed over to the state at the end of July as part of the process of recovering assets created with public funds, according to the Attorney General's Office (PGR).

The media were held by three strong men of the former President José Eduardo dos Santos, who are now facing justice: Generals Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento "Dino", former head of the Communications Service, Hélder Vieira Dias "Kopelipa", former head of the Military House of José Eduardo dos Santos and his former vice-president, Manuel Vicente.

The National Asset Recovery Service then handed over the companies to the Ministry of Telecommunications, Information Technology and Social Communication, which appointed a management committee for TV Zimbo.


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