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(Credit: Folha 8, screenshot)

Angola’s Mass Media Ministry, a governmental body, asked the National Media Council to look into a newspaper’s article and photos related to the government, Agencia Angola Press reported.

The newspaper, Folha 8, published photographs on Dec. 30, 2011 of “the Angolan Head of State, the Vice President and the head of the President’s Military Office, with the headline implying that they should be detained for theft, thus tainting the image of those personalities and the reputation of the state,” according to Agencia Angola Press. iMediaEthics searched Folha 8’s website but was unable to find the article and photo in question.

The Mass Media Ministry argued that the publication exhibits a violation of journalism ethics and press freedom, Agencia Angola Press reported.  AfricaPulse.com reported that the Association of Image Reporters of Angola and university lecturer Aderito Kizunda also both criticized the Folha 8 report.  The Association of Image Reporters of Angola “strongly condemned” Folha 8 “for lack of ethics and deontology.” (According to Dictionary.com, deontology is “ethical theory concerned with duties and rights.”)  Kizunda is quoted as saying that “It is necessary that the authorities take measures to stop these situations with Folha 8 and other institutions whose initiatives do not dignify journalists and do not help in harmonising the mentalities.”

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According to Radio Peace Africa,”the National Media Council (Conselho Nacional da Communiçao Social – CNCS) was established in 1992 to regulate the media in Angola, and is staffed by Parliamentarians and civil society.”  The Radio Peace Africa report claimed that the council serves “as a mouthpiece for the government” and a 2010 Reuters report described the council as “a government-run body comprised of journalists.” However, the council’s blog identifies itself as “an independent body which aims at ensuring the objectivity and impartiality of information and safeguarding freedom of expression and thought in the press in accordance with the rights enshrined in the Constitution.”

We have written to Folha 8 and the National Media Council for more information and will update with any response.

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Angola’s Mass Media Ministry Complains about Newspaper Article, Photo

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