The Portuguese media market is experiencing a moment of transition, mainly due to 1) the rapid technological evolution, with impact on the forms of production, distribution and reception of contents, and 2) deterioration of the business model based on advertising.
The decrease of advertising revenues and investment dramatically affects the performance of the sector, with implications in terms of quality of the contents and services provided. The popularity of news aggregators and social networks as news sources can also be challenging. This phenomenon, of course, is not specific to Portugal, but an international one. Main media conglomerates reinforce their positions despite the debt situation of some and there is probably room for further economic concentration in the future. The private groups are developing concerted strategies in order to better understand audience preferences and habits and to adjust to digitalisation processes. In the search for solutions, media enterprises are paying more attention to startups projects. In parallel, alternative projects, perhaps more volatile and targeting specific audiences and based on lighter and more flexible structures, begin to appear outside of media groups.
As a consequence of the progressive development of convergence processes, the distinction between traditional and online journalists makes less and less sense. But the decrease in the specific weight of journalism, stimulated by a growing implementation of new technologies and its dilution within a content industry, predominantly driven by commercialism and entertainment, is notorious. Nowadays, it deepens the professional frailty and identity crisis of journalists, tied up between contradictory demands: the respect for professional and ethical rules and the corporate interest for information essentially turned to audiences and commercialisation. Issues such as the future of journalism and journalists have never been risen so strongly as in contemporary advanced democracies, which shows the interdependency between journalism and the democratic system.