Media Disinformation PDF Print E-mail

 

Volume 1 1988

Many have why the mass media accounts of what is happening in Mozambique and Angola, differ so radically from the Frontline News.

The answer is that there is simply no freedom of speech, freedom of movement or freedom of the press in either Mozambique or Angola. Most press accounts on those countries come from the Marxist propaganda departments — Frelimo’s Agency Information Mozambique (AIM), or the MPLA’s ANGROP in Angola. These press releases are distributed by telex and the wire services of Sapa-Reuter and others. Most articles you read in the papers on those countries originated with AIM. ANGROP or ZIANA (Zimbabwe), all Marxist state-owned propaganda agencies, hardly renowned for honesty or lack of bias.

The few journalists who actually visit Mozambique normally are restricted to the 5-star Polana Hotel in Maputo and their main source of information is briefings by Frelimo officials or guided tours amid stagemanaged interviews also by Frelimo officials.

In a country with a history of concentration camps, torture, public floggings and executions, it must be easy to find co-operative villagers and pastors who will espouse the desired party line. Those gullible and naive (or unprincipled?) journalists who then readily parrot the standard stock phrases, parrot cries and clichés no doubt will receive Frelimo’s approval and further invitations to return for another propaganda exercise some day.

By way of contrast. our missionaries have continuous contact with people on the ground in the rural areas. We get the feel of the country by personal experience, over long periods of time, and as the villagers unburden their hearts to us and relate what they have suffered. “An ounce of experience is worth a ton of theory.”

 
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