The European Federation of Journalists today called on Portuguese political leaders and media industry figures to intervene against the closure of two of the country’s best-known daily newspapers.
The two dailies -- A Capital, in Lisbon and O Comércio in Porto, a hundred years old and one of the oldest newspapers in Portuguese – are owned by the Spanish media company Prensa Ibérica, which is closing them down for financial reasons as from tomorrow.
“The closure of these newspapers is devastating news not only for more than 150 workers who lose their jobs, but also for the pluralism and diversity of the Portuguese press,” said Aidan White, EFJ General Secretary. “Everything must be done to try to save the titles and to ensure that these papers that play an important role in maintaining the diversity of the Portuguese press are preserved.”
The EFJ, which is the regional organisation of the International Federation of Journalists, says the two newspapers form part of the rich heritage of the cities of Lisbon and Porto and is backing efforts by journalists and trades unionists at the papers and around the country who are fighting against the closure.
The EFJ is calling on its member organisation to send messages of support to Sindicato dos Jornalistas, the journalists’ union of Portugal, and to support their appeals to keep the titles alive to the government in Lisbon, to political leaders in Lisbon, Porto and around the country and to Prensa Iberica.
Portuguese journalists fear that the newspapers’ Spanish owners have not shown enough interest in trying to keep the newspapers open.
“It is not too late to avoid complete closure,” said White. “It is vitally important to convince the management that these journals have a future and that they should invest in them. What is at stake is not just a matter of profit and loss; there are questions of culture, democracy and pluralism that must also be addressed.”
If you want to show your solidarity with staff and unions, you can send the following message to the management of Prensa Ibérica:
Copy to Sindicato dos Jornalistas : firstname.lastname@example.org
Senhor D. Guilherme Garcia-Alcalde
Presidente do Grupo Prensa Ibérica
Tendo tomado conhecimento de que o prestigiado grupo de Imprensa de que o Senhor é presidente poderá encerrar os diários portugueses «O Comércio do Porto» e «A Capital», junto-me a todos quantos se preocupam com essa eventualidade e apelam para que a Prensa Ibérica suspenda imediatamente qualquer decisão nesse sentido e assuma as suas responsabilidades, até à alienação segura das empresas.
For further information please contact +32 2 235 22 00
The EFJ represents over 250.000 journalists in Europe