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Media e Opinião Pública

When it comes to diversity – be it ethnic, accent or nationality – the Portuguese media still has a very low standard. The predominance in newsrooms, especially in the areas of leadership, public visibility and comment and analysis, remains white and male. A situation that, unfortunately, is not very different in other European countries or even in Brazil. Data from SEF (Immigration and Borders Service) indicate that there have never been so many foreigners living in Portugal. We are more than 500 thousand regularized immigrants, which shows how the country has been consolidating itself as a host country for citizens of different origins.

Including and giving more visibility to these people should not be seen as a favour or act of charity, but as a movement to better contemplate the diversity that exists in the country.

By giving more space to the voices brought by the growing international community, the Portuguese media would only win. In addition to including the perspective of this population that contributes so much to the formation of today’s Portugal, the media would have the opportunity to deconstruct stereotypes and to help include immigrants in the national social fabric.

Which company will have the courage to take this first step?

Giuliana Miranda, journalist and vice president of AIEP (Foreign Press Association in Portugal))

How to combat racism in the media and raise awareness of Portuguese public opinion?

I venture to say by having more representativeness on generalist channels (SIC, TVI, RTP). It would help a little! But, unfortunately, as we all know and as it is visible to those who really want to “see”, the lack of representation of Africans/Afro-descendants (black people, regardless of their ethnicity), Brazilians and Gypsies, among others, is quite evident in the three main national channels. If we look at the national panorama, the media have a certain prejudice and discrimination towards everything that is different or out of the standard. The accents are not well accepted, the physiognomy is almost all standardized, the fat bodies are not represented. When we begin to expand the list and to think about black people, with curly hair, gypsies, Brazilians, that is, different people, we couldn’t find them on national televisions, with rare exceptions.

In a multicultural society, with the media concentrated in Lisbon, the country’s capital and one of the most multicultural cities in Europe, shouldn’t it be normal for there to be greater representation on the channels that represent us?

In an era when advertisements, debates and even some government plans speak of inclusion, diversity, representativeness and multiculturalism, among other pompous terms, I, a black, fat woman, with an accent, completely out of the norm, cannot feel represented in the means of communication of the society in which I live?

I feel that sometimes people are not blind when it comes to racial issues. They make the point of putting a blindfold on in order not to see the oppression under which we live, and with which they agree. I work on a television channel that has 80% to 90% of its audience made up of Africans/Afro descendants or emigrants, whose content is African, and where the different and the unusual is the one sought after, but if we look at the team, we can to see explicitly the type of racism with which we live, structural racism.

Do you know what it is? Structural racism is the term used to reinforce the fact that there are societies structured on the basis of discrimination that privilege some races over others. Another thing that I find curious: how is it possible for people who do not understand anything about a culture, who do not respect and do not like it, to produce a program with the same love and dedication that people of that culture would have? Are there not capable people in these areas to do the job?

More than giving space to the migrant community to show their culture, the place of speech should be used to create space for creation, and thus generate job opportunities. There are many talented people with a lot to offer within the community. There is diversity that deserves to be exposed, to learn about tolerance, empathy, the roots and culture of other peoples. To learn about respect for others. Thus, we come to tolerance.

The time has come for us to tell our story. For that, we need more opportunities, more openness, a space to be able to continue our path without fear or fear.

Neusa Sousa. Content Producer at Bem-Vindos CEO at Chá de Beleza Afro Gender Issues Activist Cultural Producer

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