CNN’s Plans Positive Coverage of Angola

The CNN Press Office (London) has responded to the concerns raised by Maka Angola on the agreements made between the international news network and the Angolan regime, regarding a media campaign to promote a better image of the latter, due to grave concerns of nepotism and corruption.

In a rejoinder to CNN’s response, Maka Angola offers further clarification:
“The Angolan General Law of Advertisement, of July 30, 2002, states that all State and official advertisement should be done through a “public tendering procedure” (Art. 35, 1). This law has been violated by the Angolan presidency which allocated, without public tender, and through nepotism and corruption, millions of dollars for the president’s children to contract CNN International advertisement services.”

Click here to download Maka Angola’s rejoinder to the CNN’s response.

It is also instructive to remind CNN of the visit made by its Africa Bureau chief, Kim Norgaard, to Angola, last January. During the visit, the CNN representative met with the Angolan authorities to discuss arrangements for CNN to improve the image of the Angolan regime through a series of reportages, based on the country’s oil dependent economic growth. On January 17, 2012, during a meeting with government officials (Jornal de Angola, January 18, 2012) , Kim Norgaard explained that “(…) We have decided to meet with the minister of Information, so that together we will draft a plan to allow us to assuredly broadcast the real situation of Angola to the world, contrary to what is happening outside [regarding coverage on Angola].”

On behalf of the government, the Minister of Information Carolina Cerqueira acknowledged the importance of CNN’s plan and assured the network that its coverage will be supported by the Ministry of Information (Idem) “by all possible means, so that these series of reportages will be done with an in-depth focus and a nationwide reach, to better project the image of Angola.”

It is highly unusual for a respectable international media outlet, such as CNN, to make formal agreements with a regime on news coverage of a given country, due to the basic standards of independence and integrity it is subject to. It is even more problematic to note that that very same regime, in this case the Angolan, plans to spend US $17 million on paid advertisements to be broadcast on CNN International.