Opinion makers

In Portugal, opinion makers are frequent “voices” in the media. Several circulate between different media but television is where they get the widest public projection. The most famous Portuguese opinion maker is, or was, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, former President of the Social-Democratic Party, who had a weekly commentary space on Portuguese television channel TVI, in prime time, every Sunday. In January 2016, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was elected President of the Republic on the first round and practically with no electoral campaign. Experts consider that his long public exposure on television and his popularity with the media contributed much to his election. 

A singularity of the national media system is the number of active politicians who are commentators in the media, in particular on television. An example is social democrat Luís Marques Mendes, also a former President of the Social Democratic Party, with a weekly opinion space, in prime time, on the television channel SIC

However, over the years, lack of pluralism in the media opinion sphere has been criticized. This lack of pluralism is observed in the political arena (commentators mainly represent the two major parties, the Socialist Party and Social Democratic Party, leaving out political minority voices); in gender imbalance (the commentators are mainly men); in the geographic distribution (with a concentration on large urban areas, in particular Lisbon); in the professional sphere (the commentators are mainly politicians and journalists); in the thematic choices (commentary centered on politics and football). Therefore, critics denounce a space of media opinion that is not representative of Portuguese society.