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Portugal’s journalists hold one-day strike

Journalists demanding better workers conditions and showing support for the journalists in Gaza. (David Carmena/YJI)

Coimbra, PORTUGAL – Portugal’s journalists came to the streets March 14 to demonstrate and show their support to their colleagues at news outlets facing possible closure.

The journalists protested in support of those who work at Diário de Notícias and Jornal de Notícias – two of the most important newspapers in the country – and the news radio station TSF, whose jobs are threatened if the financial problems of their owners force them to close.

In a statement, the Journalists Union listed the many media outlets that took part in a news blackout – or a partial blackout – on March 14, the day journalists took part in scheduled protests in several Portuguese cities.

At 9 a.m., journalists in Coimbra read a manifesto in the town square that said it was necessary to defend the profession.

From 12 p.m. other journalists decided to stop and show their solidarity in other cities such as Lisbon or Porto.

Union leader Simão Freitas said that journalists are on strike because of the low salaries, the precariousness of the profession and the sharp deterioration in working conditions.

“We are sending a message which is, we cannot do journalism with low salaries and low working conditions and trampling on our freedom of the press,” added Freitas.

This demonstration is important because Portugal is, according to Reporters Withouts Borders, one of the top 10 countries where journalists can report without restrictions or political pressure.

According to the Journalists Union, this is the first journalist strike in 40 years in Portugal.

Journalists demanding better workers conditions and showing support for the journalists in Gaza. (David Carmena/YJI)

Since last September, Global Media, the owner of Diário de Notícias, Jornal de Notícias and TSF, has been suffering financial problems. This situation has led to some employees at the company working without pay and some days, Diário de Notícias has been printed with a solid black front page.

In addition, since last week, journalists have been losing their jobs at Global Media, according to Portuguese media.

Diário de Notícias and Jornal de Notícias are two of the oldest newspapers in the country while TSF is the fifth most listened to radio station in the country, according to the website

Diário de Notícias and Jornal de Notícias, two of the main Portuguese newspapers. (David Carmena/YJI)

The German group Bauer Media, which owns several radio stations across Europe, showed interest in buying TSF, and there are continuous sales negotiations between Global Media and potential buyers for the newspapers.

The income of Global Media has dropped during the last several years due to the lack of people that buy the newspapers.

According to the trade website MeiosePublicidade,  sales of printed copies of Diário de Notícias dropped last year by almost 54%, and Jornal de Notícias about 15%. Online subscriptions also fell. Diário de Notícias dropped by about 36%. Jornal de Notícias saw an increase of more than 5%, according to that website.

David Carmena is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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