Score:84.6 // Status: Satisfactory

9 - Portugal

Freedom of the Press is robust in Portugal.

Journalists report without restrictions, although some may face threats from extremist groups.

Although the Portuguese market, with a population of 10 million, is dominated by five large press groups (Impresa, Cofina, Media Capital, Global Media and RTP), private and public, there are no less than 300 journalistic companies in the country and more than 1,700 periodical publications, including 4 national dailies. Two printed weeklies were founded in 2021. In the audiovisual sector, the CNN Portugal channel was created in a market formed by three other national news channels.

In general, the government and political parties respect the work of the media. However, while covering their activities during the January 2021 presidential elections, journalists were threatened and insulted by supporters of the far-right Chega party, as well as its campaign director.

Portuguese legislation has not undergone recent changes and continues to be very protective of journalists, who can count on solid legislative and constitutional standards that guarantee freedom of the press. However, the media are not immune to judicial pressures that hinder freedom of information. Thus, whistleblower Rui Pinto has been on trial since 2020 for being behind the journalistic investigations "Football Leaks" and "Luanda Leaks". During 2021, it was revealed that a prosecutor had ordered the surveillance of several journalists as part of an investigation into the breach of court secrecy carried out three years earlier.

Although there was a general improvement in the financial results of the press in 2021, restrictions due to the Pandemic had a negative impact on the media sector. Newspapers have suffered a significant erosion in sales of print editions, although this weakening has been partially offset by the increase in digital subscriptions. As a result, journalists' salaries suffered a devaluation.

As in other countries, reporters following anti-vaccine protests during the Covid-19 pandemic were occasionally attacked.

Journalists can be victims of verbal and physical attacks in the course of their duties. In April 2021, a camera operator for the TV channel TVI was insulted and physically attacked by a football businessman at the end of a game. At the beginning of 2022, the Impresa group, owner of the largest newspaper and the most watched television channel in the country, suffered a major cyber-attack that deprived it of all its digital files.