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Artificial Intelligence systems must comply with public transparency requirements

The Portuguese Regulatory Authority for the Media has ruled for the first time on content generated by Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a television news program, stating that media outlets using AI must follow codes of good practices and make it explicit to the public whether these systems are used only as adjuncts in tasks or whether they replace journalists in the production of journalistic content.

In its assessment of this case, ERC recalled the 10 general principles set out in the Paris Charter on Journalism and AI, which should guide the use of AI systems in journalistic practice. In particular, the need to respect the founding ethical precepts of journalism, transparency in the use of AI systems in journalism and the prior and independent evaluation by the media and journalists of AI systems used in journalism.

ERC publishes two studies on the protection of children and young people in the media

The Portuguese Media Regulatory Authority (ERC) published two studies on the protection of younger audiences in the media.

The first, on Children and Young People in the Media in 2022, summarizes ERC’S regulatory actions.

This document brings together thematic analyses carried out by ERC's Media Analysis Department and Media Literacy Unit, as well as the final decisions adopted by the Regulatory Board on the Representation of Children and Youths in Media, as subjects of broadcast content and as recipients.

Media Freedom Regulation officially adopted by EU co-legislators

On April 11th, the EuropeanMedia Freedom Act (EMFA) was officially adopted by the co-legislators of the European Union - the Council and the European Parliament - establishing a new set of rules and mechanisms to promote media pluralism and independence in the European internal market. 

The Regulation aims to protect journalists and media service providers, both public and private, from political interference in editorial decisions, while facilitating their cross-border operation and also ensuring transparency in media ownership.

ERC participates in meeting organized by CNE on combating disinformation

On January 30th, ERC took part in the meeting "The resilience of democracy in times of disinformation", organized by the National Electoral Commission (CNE) and which also included journalists from various media outlets. The aim of the initiative was to discuss issues related to combating disinformation in election coverage.

At the end of the meeting, it was proposed that a reflection group be set up between the CNE, ERC, the media, digital platforms, academia and international entities, to cooperate and share experiences and knowledge, with a view to creating more agile action methodologies.
ERC was represented by the Chair of the Regulatory Board, Helena Sousa, and Members Telmo Gonçalves and Carla Martins.

ERC sets out principles applicable to journalists' right of access to public places

Following a request for information from the Portuguese Journalists’ Professional License Committee on journalists' right of access to spaces open to the public, ERC’s Regulatory Board, on 9 November, adopted the Decision ERC/2023/408 (DJ) summarising the legal framework and the general principles applicable to the exercise of the right of access that have been governing ERC's decisions.

 
The regulator explains in the document that the right of access to information is the very core of the freedom of the press and journalists’ fundamental right. As general principle, journalists performing their work, and because of it, therefore have freedom of access to the information sources needed to achieve the right to information in its threefold form: the right to inform, to obtain information and to be informed.

ERC's new Regulatory Board takes up office

The members incorporating the next cycle of ERC´s Regulatory Board took up office before the President of the Portuguese Parliament on the December 14th at 12.00 pm in the Parliament premises.

 
The Board is now composed of the following five members: Helena Sousa (Chairman), Pedro Correia Gonçalves (Vice President), Telmo Gonçalves (Member), Carla Martins (Member) and Rita Rola (Member).

Investment in Institutional Advertisement drops 6 million in 2022

In 2022, services under the direct administration by the Portuguese State, public bodies, and national public corporate sector entities reported to ERC, via the Institutional Advertisement Digital Platform, the execution of 112 advertising campaigns totalling EUR 6 462 708,69 million. This represents a decrease of almost half of the amount of EUR 12 507 407,87 million intended for these campaigns in 2021. Television was the most prominent medium.

 
The funds available for regional and local media reached EUR 2 384 267,78 million, which corresponds to 36.9% of the total amount invested in the purchase of advertising spaces. In 2022, there was a 37 percentage increase in the funds for regional and local media as compared to 2021, despite the overall decrease in advertising investment.

Media transparency: public consultation on the criteria for assessment of requests for confidentiality

The Regulatory Authority for the Media (ERC) launched a public consultation on the guidelines for the assessment of requests for confidentiality submitted to it under the transparency legal framework.

 
The Transparency Law (Law No. 78/2015 of 29 July) provides that the data supplied to ERC via the Transparency Portal must be published, with the sole exception of cases in which “fundamental interests of stakeholders” are invoked.
 
In order to appreciate these cases, ERC has internally defined “Guidelines for the assessment of requests for confidentiality”, which were adopted in 2019 by ERC’s Regulatory Board. These criteria, which guided the examination of 130 requests for confidentiality between 2020 and 2023, are now submitted to public consultation.

ERC report looks at television coverage of 2022 parliamentary elections

The Regulatory Authority for the Media (ERC) recently published a report describing how prime time news programmes on RTP1, RTP2, SIC, TVI and CMTV television channels have covered 2022 parliamentary elections during the electoral period (from 16 to 28 January 2022). In parallel, the report also looked at the type of participations of the different candidacies in talk shows and debates on RTP3, SIC Noticias e TVI24/CNN Portugal television channels during pre-campaign and election campaign phases.