AngolaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s only TV station, Televisao Publica de Angola, has suspended a
long-time anchor for remarks he made during a conference on election
coverage, writes Gilberto Neto.
The station indefinitely banned Ernesto Bartolomeu from all activity at the station.
Angola is to hold parliamentary elections in September. The opposition has been complaining that the government uses its control of the state media in its favour.
Bartolomeu, who has been the main anchor for the stationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s main evening newscasts for almost twenty years, said last week that the stationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s editors always favour the ruling MPLA and that editors are given orders to broadcast a few reports on opposition activities ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œjust to balanceÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â. He asked the lecturer, a Portuguese-American journalist, what his experience was in dealing with such situations.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI know you guys will tell my bosses about his, but I really must raise this issue,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Bartolomeu, also a one-time former radio journalist for South AfricaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s SABC, told the audience after making the controversial remarks.
Every weekend newspapers run articles about the popular journalist, who is known for having a very distinctive style. Many journalists showed indignation at the suspension through remarks made on Catholic-run Radio Ecclesia, and most urged the TV station to cancel the suspension.