Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a popular president who has all the media coverage: Content analysis of the press (2016-2018)


  • Paula do Espírito Santo CAPP/ISCSP/Universidade de Lisboa
  • Felisbela Lopes Universidade do Minho



Communication studies, journalism, press studies, content analysis


In his first speech, in March 2016, as 20th Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa guaranteed that every Portuguese person was rooted in his first determining thought. It was in the people that President Marcelo found legitimacy to develop everything he sought. But will this concern in building bridges, in bringing others closer to him, be reflected on the journalistic coverage that his work raises? From the analysis of the first two years of his term, what is striking is the depiction of a President who wants everyone close to him, and yet the whole daily press discourse is centred on him. The President has consistently aligned himself with different social actors and has made a visible effort to expand his political action to different Portuguese regions and also to several other countries. However, the President is the main source and hegemonic voice in journalistic discourse. This research begins with the following question: How does the journalistic coverage of President Marcelo's activity, during his two-year term of office (2016-2018), concur with and guarantee the principles of autonomy and exemption in the news construction? Taking into account this research question, in methodological terms, this study will analyse the two years of journalistic coverage of the presidential activity, from a set of daily and weekly newspapers. The technique of content analysis will be used, in a categorical approach, following Bardin’s (2013) and Lopes & Espírito Santo’s (2016) previous framework. The expected results are the identification of the relationship between the political involvement of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa as President and the construction of the press message, combined with the potential introduction of a new role for the President as a political and media actor of the democratic system.




How to Cite

do Espírito Santo, P., & Lopes, F. (2019). Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a popular president who has all the media coverage: Content analysis of the press (2016-2018). Observatorio (OBS*), 13(4).