Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Inona Vao Vao

One of the most frequently used expression in daily life in Malagasy is: Inona Vao Vao (pronounce: Enoona Vavao?) Literally this mean: How is the news, or what's new, or, as some Americans say: What's up?

A common reply to this question is: Tsy misy (tsee mees), which means: no news. But often there is news of course. How do the good people in Antananarivo get their news? Mostly through the news papers. A dozen of them are produced regularly, though they are not all following a quality and objective journalism, if you see what I mean.

On many street corners Malagasy newspapers are exposed like clothes on a washing line. People stop by to read the headlines, and pass it on to others. I like way of hanging newspapers like t-shirts on a line, but I've always wondered: why don't people do the same with their laundry???

Newspapers are hung like t-shirt on a clothes line

But clothes are dried on rocks, streets, grass, river banks or fences


  1. 1) I don't wanna be critical or cranky but can you name a few newspapers or TV news worldwide that still do objective journalism, please?
    I don't think this only happens in Madagascar.
    News has become a commodity, it's a business. Sensational journalism is the new normal.
    2) People who don't do laundry next to the river but at home hang their laundry (inside their walls of course, that's why you might haven't seen it)

    A Malagasy Reader

  2. To emphasize my point 1), one may wanna check
    a) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensationalism
    b) The myth of liberal media
    full transcript: http//www.mediaed.org/assets/products/114/transcript_114.pdf (21 pages)
    c) Manufacturing consent by Noam Chomsky

    A Malagasy Reader