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Lisbon, Mar. 21 (Lusa) – Portugal’s minister of culture said on Wednesday that Lusa, the national news agency, in which the state has a controlling stake, now has "a leadership capable of taking its project forward" and that it has "a clear and defined strategy.”
Luís Filipe de Castro Mendes was speaking at the close of a conference in Lisbon on ‘The Sustainability of the Media in Portugal’ at the Higher School of Social Communication (ESCS).
Lusa’s general shareholder assembly, at which its annual accounts are to be approved and a new president elected, is taking place on Wednesday, having been put back from last month.
The government has tapped a former senior editor at Expresso newspaper as the agency’s new president.
"Lusa also will now have from today a new leadership capable of taking its project forward, for which we have invited the journalist Nicolau Santos" to take over, the minister said.
“In a time of accentuated proliferation of 'fake news' and of dissemination of disinformation campaigns and more or less organised propaganda that is confused with journalistic content, this [latter] designation symbolises a crucial point in the media landscape, giving more force to journalists,” Castro Mendes went on, stressing the need to “assure a free, independent, plural and rigorous journalism as one of the main pillars of our democratic societies."
Lusa, the minister said, "currently has a clear and defined strategy, based on a contract for the provision of news services signed with the state, that values the public mission nthat is attributed to it.”
According to Castro Mendes, the government has assured Lusa "adequate and stable funding” over three years, representing a 20.3% increase on the 2015 level.
One of the government’s "main concerns", he said, has been the financial sustainability of public media companies, so that they can fulfil their public service role.
"Both in Lusa and in [broadcaster] RTP this objective has been achieved,” he said. “The companies are financially balanced and have all the conditions in place to fulfil their public service mission.”


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2018-03-22 08:10:45


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