Freedom of the Press - Portugal (2006)
|Publication Date||27 April 2006|
|Cite as||Freedom House, Freedom of the Press - Portugal (2006), 27 April 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/473451e138.html [accessed 27 December 2014]|
Legal Environment: 2
Political Influences: 6
Economic Pressures: 6
Total Score: 14
Life Expectancy: 77
Religious Groups: Roman Catholic (94 percent), Protestant (6 percent)
Ethnic Groups: Portuguese, African and Eastern European minorities
Freedom of the press is guaranteed by the constitution, and laws against insulting the government or the armed forces are rarely enforced. A draft bill for the creation of a government media watchdog group, which has caused concern among the European Federation of Journalists, was expected to be approved during the summer of 2005. Confidentiality of sources is typically recognized as a journalist's right in Portugal, except in cases where the journalist's knowledge could prevent a crime. Continuing a trend from the previous year, journalists contend that their right to protect their sources was not respected in 2005. In December 2004, a journalist was given an 11-month prison sentence for refusing to give up his source as evidence in a drug case.
Commercial television has been making gains in recent years, providing serious competition for the public broadcasting channels that lack funds. The future of public broadcasting in Portugal came under debate in April, when journalists and media workers waged a three-day strike against the management of Portugal's public broadcaster – Radio and Television of Portugal – which is blocking talks on a new collective labor agreement. In July, the European Federation of Journalists criticized the Spanish company Prensa Iberica, owner of the Portuguese newspapers A Capital and O Comercio, when it announced the closure of the two publications. Both were among the oldest and most reputable papers in the country. There are some 300 local and regional private radio stations, and internet access is unrestricted with nearly 60 percent of the population able to access it regularly.