Transparency in Portuguese media: from the buzzword to the unsolved regulatory challenge

Carla Filipe Baptista

Abstract


Transparency is a long-discussed term in journalism. It has been conceptualized as an evolving professional value, a political issue, and a regulatory challenge. In the disinformed digital age, became a rescue criterion to rebuild a credible relationship with the public based on trustworthiness. Transparency urges for holistic approaches, due to its inherent instability and variability across media systems; political, economic, and regulatory frameworks; and editorial cultures. This article analyses media transparency from a local perspective, departing from the launching of the Platform of Transparency by the Portuguese Media Authority (ERC). The Portuguese case stands in a European space deprived of international standards to assess media transparency, even if the concept is broadly discursively constructed as a key element of media pluralism. An increasingly fragmented media landscape degrades ethical standards based on shared values and favors the des activation of transparency as a disruptive transforming professional practice. The benevolent Portuguese initiative may provide political legitimacy to a narrowed version of media transparency, confined to issues of accountability and assumptions of political independence. Will the prevailing “fortress newsroom” (Smith, 2005; Meier 2009) survive to a transparent account department?

Keywords


Media transparency; media regulation; journalism values; Portuguese media regulator; journalistic professional culture

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS16220221952

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/