1 February 2013

Angola: Media Watchdog Slams Unprofessional Coverage of 'Chitombi Case'

Luanda — The National Media Council (NMC) met on the 25th of January in its first plenary session of the year, and condemned the way media organs, in general, covered the "Chitombi Case", stressing that it was "particularly bad and revealed a shocking lack of professionalism ", because the Right of Reply principle was not observed with the rigor that the situation demanded.

According to a decision of the NMC, sent to ANGOP on Thursday, the importance it has in the national context and the extraordinary impact of media message, "Angola Public Television (TPA) stood out negatively for the way it dealt with the Chitombi case, starting with the generous airtime used to cover the event in two consecutive days."

The Council considers that in these cases the personal rights have the same constitutional dignity as the right to information, towards which journalists must adopt a moderate attitude, having into account the principles of good faith, the preliminary finding of the veracity of the information and its plain public interest.

In the same line of concern, but still inconclusive, the session also examined another story involving the Member of Parliament and president of opposition party FNLA, Lucas Ngonda, in regarding news that published an alleged case of domestic violence, following public denunciations.

In this case, according to the NMC, there was a doubt whether the journalists that covered the news considered the Right to Reply principle, since it was noticed that the position or version of the personality in question was not published.

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