Radio and the consolidation of Portuguese identity: a critical assessment of compliance monitoring by the ERC

Mariana Lameiras, Helena Sousa


The promotion of Portuguese language and culture through radio broadcasters is one of the statutory requirements established by law. Considering that the state media regulatory body (Entidade Reguladora para a Comunicação Social - ERC) is responsible for regulating and monitoring media activity in Portugal, it shall verify compliance with these rules which are postulated by a system of quotas for the Portuguese music broadcasting. We consider this system an essential starting point in order to assess the quest for the Portuguese identity and consolidation through radio. This assessment is based on a certain understanding of language: a legalistic approach derived from the wording of the law that foresees language as a crucial element for the definition of a so-called Portuguese identity and as a constitutive premise of a cultural pattern.
Bearing in mind the legal framework for the radio and for the regulatory body, we scrutinize broadcasters’ performance according to the established system of quotas through the analysis of the regulatory body’s findings stated in the ERC’s 2009 Report of Regulation.
This article deconstructs the significance of the system of quotas for the Portuguese music broadcasting considering a regulatory approach on behalf of legal imperatives in terms of identity, language and culture promotion, trying to answer some questions: What are radio broadcasters expected to do? What legal imperatives do they have to follow? Do they actually comply with them? What kind of intervention does the Portuguese regulatory body develop in this matter?


state media regulation; radio; quotas; Portuguese music

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