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Key findings
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of Angolans say the media should “constantly investigate and report on government mistakes and corruption.”
  • A similarly clear majority (60%) insist on media freedom, while 27% endorse the government’s right to prevent the publication of things it disapproves of.
  • Nearly half (48%) of Angolans say the country’s media is “somewhat free” or “completely free” to report and comment on the news without government interference, but 43% disagree with that assessment.
  • More than half (55%) think the public should have access to government information, while 31% say such information should be for use by government officials only and should not be shared with the public.
  • Stronger majorities believe that government bids and contracts with businesses (73%), local government budgets (73%), and the salaries of teachers and local government officials (61%) should be shared with the public.
  • Television and radio are still the most popular sources of news in Angola. But social media and the Internet follow close behind, especially among young and educated Angolans.

On World Press Freedom Day (3 May), Angolan President João Lourenço shared a  congratulatory message to professionals in the media, applauding them “for the  commitment and dedication they have shown in carrying out the mission of informing with  truth, impartiality, and responsibility” (Ver Angola, 2023a).  

The president’s message came amid widespread perceptions of government restrictions on  the flow of information and censorship of journalists. Although freedom of the press is  enshrined in Angola’s Constitution, those who dare to shine a light on government abuse of  power and mismanagement are often prosecuted and handed heavy sentences (Reporters  Without Borders, 2023). 

Last year, the Freedom House (2022) Freedom in the World report listed Angola as one of the  countries in the Southern Africa region exhibiting hostility toward the media (Mavhunga,  2022) and rated Angola only “partly free” in terms of Internet freedom. In 2023, Angola dropped 26 places on the World Press Freedom Index, placing it 125th out of 180 countries (Reporters Without Borders, 2023; Ver Angola, 2023b).  

According to the most recent Afrobarometer survey, Angolans broadly agree that the media  should act as a watchdog over the government, constantly investigating and reporting on  government mistakes and corruption. Citizens value media freedom and reject the notion  that public information should be the exclusive preserve of government officials. However, views are mixed on whether media freedom exists in practice. 

Television and radio still outpace social media and the Internet as popular news sources in  Angola, but not by much – especially among young and educated citizens. 

Asafika Mpako

Asafika is the communications coordinator for Southern Africa

Carlos Pacatolo

Carlos Pacatolo is the national investigator for Angola.