Jan 18, 2017
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The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003, and research journalist for the "Boston Globe", Michael Rezendes, was in Portugal at the 4th Congress of Portuguese Journalists
The future of the sector was discussed, namely the role of journalists, the competition and the media funding. According with the north-american journalist, «the difficulties currently experienced in the industry are similar at a global level, they are not exclusively Portuguese. It is still fundamental to have journalists on the street rather than sitting in newsrooms, and contrary to what is claimed, making investigative journalism is economically viable and makes sense, because investigative articles increase the number of subscribers in the newspaper», he explained, alluding to his personal experience.
According with the Organizing Committee, from the various discussions carried out, it was concluded that, «the small size of newsrooms, the time for performing the work and the low salaries are some of the aspects that compromise the quality of the information provided to readers, and consequently the profession». In this regard, the Government has undertaken to carry out a close inspection to safeguard working conditions.
The competition of the Google and social networks, as well as the poor regulation of the foreign television channels available were also mentioned as compromising the journalistic work, being necessary to change the legislation that regulates these matters.
The status of information source, the definition and role of the journalist are aspects that will have more attention and vigilance by the competent entities. The Congress approved a final resolution with 12 points, without votes against and without abstention. The professionals now expect the measures to be implemented and the class to meet more frequently. Remember that 18 years have passed since the last Congress held in Portugal. If compared to other realities, for example, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is already attending the 29th Congress and meets every three years to reflect on the profession.