The problem is not new, but a lot has been said, in recent months, about the crisis in the media and journalism, the result of the great controversy with Global Media.
In some of the parties’ electoral programs, there are proposals aimed at the sector with the aim of strengthening journalism in Portugal and creating “freer” social communication.
With regard to the AD program, it can be read that the media sector “is experiencing one of its most serious crises ever” and that it arises due to “profound changes in the organization of public and informational space which, in addition to affecting the sustainability of media companies and the stability of their workers, put at risk pluralism and freedom to inform and freedom of expression, which are fundamental structuring pillars of democracy”.
“The State cannot ignore the problems of such a sensitive and critical area for the health of our democracy and society, as happened during the Socialist Party governments”, he also says.
Here are the measures for the sector
• Create an Action Plan for the media, involving the traditional and digital media sector, academia, civil society, in order to respond to the serious structural and cyclical problems arising from profound technological changes, the configuration of the new content offer , the crisis in production chains and the violation of consumer and business rights;
• Evaluate the possibility of creating a IRS deduction for expenses with media outlets and introducing models to encourage the consumption of content from media outlets;
• Study the adoption of new legal and tax business and impact investment models in the media area, similar to what already occurs in other European States;
• Review the Press Law, listening to companies in the sector, in order to quickly correct its anachronism (in view of the profound transformations in society and the impact of digital platforms);
• Evaluate the tax regime applicable to digital platforms and encourage this discussion at European level, with revenues being allocated to encouraging demand for media content;
• Clarify the situation of the Lusa agency and resolve the impasse in its shareholder structure in a balanced way involving all agents in the sector;
• Safeguard the role and mission of the public radio, television and multimedia service, guaranteeing its independence and transparency;
• Value regional and local media;
• Strengthen the role, independence and effectiveness of regulation and supervision and reinforce the role of the Regulatory Entity for Social Communication (ERC) in monitoring and sanctioning practices of disinformation and information manipulation, guaranteeing its independence, effectiveness and its articulation with other national and international entities;
• Encourage the creation and recognition of fact-checking platforms, which can contribute to the validation, contextualization and correction of information circulating on social networks and digital media;
• Create a code of conduct for political agents, parties and electoral campaigns, which establishes ethical principles and rules for political communication, and which provides mechanisms for monitoring and reporting cases of disinformation and fake news, namely, through the use of generative artificial intelligence;
• Develop a national education and media literacy strategy, which involves the education system, universities, libraries, associations and civil society organizations, and which promotes the development of citizens’ critical, analytical and creative skills, in relation to to the media and information.
All these measures aim to “guarantee the plurality, independence and sustainability of free social communication, for the benefit of an informed and full citizenship” and to “increase the level of citizens’ trust in democratic institutions, the media and political agents, reducing abstention and discredit”.
For the Left Bloc, “the press is a fundamental and integral part of democracy, it is not consistent with precariousness, lack of financing or the opacity of funds that try to interfere in the editorial line of newspapers and radios”, says the party, adding that “It also doesn’t fit with a government that allows all of this.”
Regarding its program, the Block says its priority for the sector is “the creation of a free digital subscription for students, a tax on digital giants to finance the press and the obligation of transparency and evaluation of the suitability of shareholders and administrators of companies that own communication groups”.
Here are the Left Bloc’s proposals:
• Create a national program to provide a free digital subscription to the general press to all secondary and higher education students;
• Create a tax on digital giants, known as the “Google Tax”, taxing their income obtained in the national territory as a way of financing support for journalism;
• Elimination of VAT on commercial subscriptions;
• Reduction of distribution costs, through the replacement of postage paid as a form of distribution support, particularly relevant for the local and regional press;
• Promotion of journalistic genres diminished under the weight of the crisis (journalistic investigation, major reporting, etc.): public grants, aimed at media companies, community media, new projects and individual professionals – under the decision of plural and independent juries.
Guarantee the transparency and integrity of social media shareholders;
• Guarantee the transparency of the entire chain of ownership and the prior assessment of the suitability of shareholders and administrators of companies and media groups, as a condition of any change in the shareholder structure;
• Reintroduce limits on the concentration of regional and local media bodies;
• Create a public risk financing fund to encourage the creation of new media, which mitigates the commercial difficulties of starting them up (facilities, forms of technical support, credit and tax conditions) and allows the testing of new forms of journalistic production independent of the oligopoly.
Strengthen public information services: 208
• The importance of the Lusa agency must be matched by adequate financing, which considers an increase in compensatory compensation and its timely payment;
• Protect Agência Lusa, guaranteeing the majority of the State’s shareholder position in the company through the acquisition of the shares currently held by Global Media and Páginas Civilizados
• Guarantee the necessary investment in RTP, both on television and radio, to overcome its chronic underfunding and respect the workers who provide the public service;
• Review RTP’s management model, abolishing the Independent General Council and ensuring that the Assembly of the Republic has a central role in defining the company’s administration;
• Give office to a non-executive director of RTP elected by the workers;
• Make the Single Report public, ensuring transparency regarding payments to RTP workers and employees;
• Adopt a zero tolerance policy for precariousness in the public service, preventing new precarious contracts and integrating those that persist on radio, television and Agência Lusa.
Regarding the case of Global Media Group, the party defends “public control of the Global Media Group group, with a view to safeguarding the continuity of its titles and radio station, which are an essential part of Portuguese social communication and the quality journalism produced .
Once the group and its newsrooms have been stabilized, it should develop in the future as private or cooperative property.
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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