Broadcasting to the Portuguese empire in Africa: Salazar's singular broadcasting policy

Nelson Ribeiro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses Portugal's broadcasting policy to its colonies from the 1930s to the 1960s when the country was ruled by a dictatorship led by Oliveira Salazar. It demonstrates that, despite the centrality assumed by the concept of Empire in the discourse of the dictatorship, investments in shortwave broadcasting remained very low throughout the years. Not only was the Portuguese state broadcaster not given the resources to achieve good coverage of the African territories, but there was also no national policy concerning the creation of stations in the colonies. This, as the article demonstrates, led to the development of several private radio projects, mainly in Angola and Mozambique, operated as radio clubs. It would take until the mid-1950s, when the independence of African countries entered the international agenda, for the Portuguese dictatorship to start investing both in the state broadcaster's transmissions to Africa and in the creation of official stations in Angola, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde. These late investments would ultimately not pay off because, starting in 1961, Portugal would be involved in the colonial war that started in Angola but quickly spread to other Portuguese territories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)920-937
Number of pages18
JournalCritical Arts
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2014


  • African broadcasters
  • Broadcasting
  • Colonialism
  • Empire
  • Portugal
  • Salazar


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