[PT] Strategical plan for the promotion of media literacy approved in Portugal

IRIS 2024-2:1/24

Elsa Costa e Silva

Universidade do Minho

In November 2023 the Government approved a national plan to promote media literacy in various sectors of society. Although there is a natural focus on pre-university schools, the document also established guidelines that include informal and lifelong education.

The purpose is to enable citizens to better deal with informative content, and to fight misinformation and dissemination of false content. This is the first time a national plan has been launched in this field.

Starting with the acknowledgement that there is a deficit in Portugal regarding access to and reading the news, the legislative piece creating the national plan also recognizes that media nowadays have a central role in leisure, commercial exchanges, social relations and in interacting with State administrative services.

Thus, media literacy is a central skill for today's citizens in an increasingly complex media and digital world. 

The national plan, which will be implemented by an inter-ministerial commission, aims to enhance the effective integration of media literacy into school curricula in all teaching levels and cycles, as well as the aggregation or creation of educational programs and resources in non-formal and informal lifelong education contexts. To accomplish this purpose the plan also includes the promotion of training programs aimed at teaching and non-teaching staff at schools.

Regarding society in general, the plan determines the organisation of events that prioritise direct contact with media outlets and their professionals, to strengthen citizens' trust in the media. Particularly relevant is the fact that the implementation of the plan will have to foresee ways to promote critical and hate speech-free participation in different public forums, particularly in sports-related arenas, namely through awareness campaigns.

A comprehensive programme of action must be presented by the committee in the forthcoming months, and the development of this programme is to be monitored by an accompanying committee. This committee comprises representatives from media sector organisations (including the Journalists' Union) and public administrative bodies. It is required to include five literacy and media experts, one of whom will chair the body.

This plan is in accordance with the new steps outlined in the transposition of the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which established new obligations for the public broadcaster and video-sharing platforms. Furthermore, the media regulatory agency is now mandated to submit a triennial report on the evolution of media literacy skills in Portugal to the Government and the European Commission.

While this represents the first national initiative undertaken by a government concerning media literacy, numerous initiatives are already underway, led by scholars and media organizations.

Additionally, a reference book (in its second revised edition) was published in December by the Ministry of Education to aid pre-graduate schools in implementing targeted activities in this field

For further information on media literacy initiatives in Portugal, please consult the YouthWiki website, Europe's encyclopaedia of national youth policies.


  • Law no. 27/2007, of 30 July, Law on television and on-demand audiovisual services, amended by Law no. 74/2020, of 19/11)

This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.