Covid-19 exacerbates structural crisis
The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the Portuguese media’s deep structural crisis, which is reflected in extremely precarious employment conditions. Budget cuts were implemented in mid-pandemic by several media groups, including the Global Media Group giant, which laid off more 80 employees, including 20 journalists. In an attempt to allay the media’s crisis, Prime Minister António Costa’s government announced an advance of 15 million euros on what the media would earn from state advertising during the year, most of it to be used to compensate employees temporarily laid off or on short-time working as a result of the pandemic. Journalists were shocked to learn that, in an attempt to discover their sources, the Lisbon prosecutor’s office had spied on two journalists covering the “electronic mole” corruption scandal at the Benfica soccer club in 2018. In addition to the economic impact on the already weakened media, the coronavirus crisis hampered coverage of some events, especially sports events, and some governmental press conferences, from which reporters were excluded. Portugal was not spared the tendency for protests to be accompanied by violence against reporters. Several journalists were threatened and insulted during a protest against the government’s coronavirus restrictions.
10 in 2020
11.83 in 2020