Curating Reading: News Media

It is difficult to get specific recommendations for newspapers in another language. They are so connected to personal politics that many don’t necessarily want to direct you to a specific one. Also, press readership in Portugal is very low. Having looked before I have happened upon newspapers, but not stuck to any one in particular. Too much energy can go into the search, so I’ve often not read newspapers in favour of novels or blogs.

With the recent Panama Papers scandal it occurred to me that here was a way of figuring out a paper of record in Portugal. This does not necessarily indicate political leaning, but can indicate quality – a term that is heavily loaded in its own right. I discovered that Expresso was the Portuguese paper that collaborated on this in-depth international investigative project. The text part of the newspaper allows a limited amount for free before it asks you to subscribe. They do have to find means of making money, I guess. Although the amount of advertising on the site would suggest that they get ample support there.

What is amazing is a series of short videos on current news items. For example, this is the one explaining the Panama Papers and here is another on the future of Europe and the refugee crisis. These are high-end productions and excellent for language learning. The format is straightforward. A journalist from the newspaper (simply dressed) speaks to camera explaining a current issue while referring to animated images and graphs that serve to help the viewer to understand the concepts and facts involved. These animations really help comprehension and the videos are brief and attractive. As a tool to understand contemporary news items and Portuguese speakers it is really useful. I will add it to my regular viewing/listening practice.



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