5 March 2009

A Look Inside the Portuguese Media

Yesterday several newspapers, like 24Horas, Diário de Notícias, Jornal de Notícias, O Jogo, belonging to the Media Group Controlinveste had a strike against the company's decision of firing a third of its collaborators and journalists.


The decision to carry out a strike against Global Notícias and Jornalinveste, both belonging to the media group Group Controlinveste founded and controlled by Portuguese sports mogul Joaquim Oliveira, was done as a protest regarding the collective firing of 199 journalists and collaborators and against the incapability or desire to negotiate of the media group administrators.

Diversified sources have said that this sudden collective/selective staff lay-off is nothing more than a cover up, hidden under the 'crisis umbrella', aimed at firing those who where not as malleable, as easily influenced ideologically or that did not follow the editorial guide lines dictated by inappropriate strategies that began with the concentration of political power [in the capital/main cities, like Lisbon and Porto] and regional desertification.

Yesterday the Manifesto of the 119 [PDF in Portuguese] warned to the fact that there are rumours that other waves of collective/selective dismissals are on the way. The Manifesto also ensures the real genesis of the crisis in this Media group is due to the poor management of the group financial interests and assets.

32% adhered to the strike

In statements to the agency Lusa, the president of the Union of Journalists, Alfredo Maia, said that one third of the Journalists of the four publications belonging to the media group Controlinveste joined the strike, that is the equivalent of "more than a hundred" journalists in a universe of 300.

The Newspapers 24Horas, Diário de Notícias, Jornal de Notícias, O Jogo, will nevertheless be published today.

Meanwhile yesterday in Spain, the administrators of the Daily Newspaper ABC  fired 238 journalists out of 456 using an ERE - Expedient of Employment Regulation [used in Spain for collective dismissals]. In the United Kingdom, ITV will cut  600 jobs, this represents about 13% of ITV's 4,500 staff and comes less than six months after the last round of job cuts saw 1,000 departures.

On the Other Hand

Last week Portugal saw the 'birth' of a brand new TV channel TVI24, owned by Media Capital - which by its turn is owned by a non Portuguese Group the Spanish Prisa. TVI24 aims to broadcast 24 Hours News and to dispute audience share leadership with SIC Notícias and RTP Notícias. TVI - the mother channel - is a generalist station with more popular characteristics, leader in soap operas and talk shows. All of this TV Channels have a good on-line presence, with direct tv broadcasting or archived videos, as well as interactive contents.

Sojormedia, the biggest group of regional media, will launch a new daily newspaper in May named 'I'. The format will be very similar to the Spanish ABC, and targets the upper class, "an audience that looks for the information accurately". The Daily "will not be cheaper but can cost the same as others" [sic] and will not have extras [supplements], except for a magazine published on Saturday and edited by Pedro Rolo Duarte, who created in the 90's the DNA, an outstanding supplement of the Diário de Notícias. "We will implode the logic of the reader immersed in supplements", said the director of the 'I' Martim Avillez Figueiredo.



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