The January cancellation of a Portuguese morning radio show and the firing of five of its commentators has raised concerns about political intrusion on media freedoms, Reporters Without Borders reported last week.
The current affairs show, Este Tempo, was broadcast on the country’s primary public radio station. Its cancellation was announced less than a week after one of the commentators criticized a state-televised special about Portuguese-Angolan relations. The special was widely held to be propaganda favoring the Angolan government.
Este Tempo commentator Pedro Rosa Mendes has frequently criticized the Angolan government and has been sued for defamation at least once by Angola’s president, José Eduardo dos Santos, followthemedia.com reported.
Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, the country’s state broadcaster, said the decision to cut the program had been made “some time ago,” according to Reporters Without Borders.
Oil-rich Angola, a former colony of Portugal, is Portugal’s largest trading partner outside the European Union and its fourth-largest trading partner overall, according to the BBC.