There are many media outlets for Angolans to choose from. Radio Luanda, Cazenga, Mais, Cinco, Escola, and FM Stereo are the most heard stations. TV Zimbo and TPA1 are the most viewed channels. In terms of press, the most read newspaper in Angola, which is also the only daily, is Jornal de Angola.
Business titles include the newspapers Expansão, Economia e Finanças and Semanário Económico, as well as the magazines Rumo, Economia & Mercado and Africa Today. For those who work in the area of fashion and beauty is essential to be present in Caras and Chocolate magazines.
Yet, much of this media is tightly controlled. “Nearly all of the media in Angola is controlled by the long-time ruling MPLA party and a few figures close to President dos Santos and his family,” says Robert Besseling, Senior Africa Forecaster at Exclusive Analysis, a political risk company in London.
He continues: “The state-run news agency ANGOP is relatively reliable for economic reporting, although it rarely comments objectively on political developments. The print media - including Jornal de Angola - is similarly controlled by the ruling elite. A small number of private TV and radio channels have been set up, such as TV Zimbo, although these are usually affiliated to the MPLA and tightly censored.”
This control of the regular media has deterred overseas media companies from investing in the country. For example, South Africa's DSTV which is widespread elsewhere in the region, does not operate in the country, although Besseling reports that many middle class families have access to satellite dishes that are uncontrolled by the government and MPLA.
John Thompson at Angola-Today, agrees that this control of the media is a problem. "Angola is a young country and one of the fastest growing economies in the world,” he says. “Yet it remains one of the most under-reported. There is a huge appetite for information about the country but until recently there have been very few clear communication channels.”
He goes on to point out that young Angolans are increasingly using their mobile phones to access online news sources and social media sites. Besseling agrees. “Social media remain important channels of communication for the opposition, civil society and independent journalists,” he says. “The 2011/12 youth protest movement was coordinated by social media, which is likely to result in the government stepping up efforts to censor social media.”