02
Abr
09

Aquino, Mota-Lopes…

Aquino Bragança images by you.

Tempo, and its parent company, Tempografica, were set up in 1970 by five journalists (José Mota Lopes, Ricardo Rangel, Ribeiro Pacheco, Areosa Pena and Rui Cartaxana), who had left the daily paper Noticias, then the main mouthpiece for colonial propaganda.

The book “Carlos Cardoso: Telling the Truth in Mozambique’ by Paul Fauvet, Marcelo Mosse comments:

They used Cartaxana’s personal friendship with the last colonial governor-general of Mozambique, Baltazar Rebelo de Souza, to obtain a licence to open a weekly magazine.

They needed money, which they obtained from local businessmen, particularly Augusto de Sá Alves, a man with extensive interests in agriculture, trade and transport. This was an uneasy alliance between radical journalists and that faction of colonial capital that wanted to break free of restrictions imposed by the Salazarist regime. The journalists were minority shareholders — but they established an agreement with their financial backers under which the newsroom was entirely autonomous.

Tempo, though still shackled by colonial censorship, was the nearest thing to an opposition publication in Lourenço Marques. Some of the journalits, particularly MOta Lopes and Rangel, were already in contact with Frelimo. Mota Lopes was a clandestine member of Frelimo from 1971. There was an unwritten code of never writing about the colonial war. But editorial autonomy disappeared in 1972, when the magazine negotiated with Sá Alves for an increase in its capital. This generated a struggle between the journalists and the managers imposed by the majority shareholders.

By early 1974, the magazine the five founders had dreamed of was virtually dead. What jolted it back to life was the 25 April coup in Lisbon. The pro-Frelimo journalists moved to reassert control. On the day of the coup itself, Tempo became the first publication to stop sending its articles to the censor’s office….

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