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Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2052-3971
  • E-ISSN: 2052-398X



Following Greece and Ireland, and preceding Spain and Cyprus, Portugal has been subject to a troika ‘adjustment programme’ that lasted from mid-2011 to mid-2014. The implementation of the programme was disturbed by unexpected events stemming from internal political tensions, ‘exogenous’ shocks, resistance from the judicial system (the Constitutional Court) and opposition from large sections of the public. As in Greece, the programme was experienced by most as a dramatic and traumatic event. Major actors in this drama have been the troika institutions, the Portuguese government and its supporting parties, the Portuguese opposition parties, trade unions and other social movements. Other actors, namely journalists, arguably also played an important role. This article examines the role played by economic journalists during the so-called adjustment process. It analyses the content of the publications (op-eds) of main Portuguese economic journalists prior to and during the period of implementation of the troika’s programme. It is based on a survey of all the publications (op-eds) of six authors between 1 January 2010 and 30 July 2014. The analysis of the journalists’ texts led to the following conclusions: (1) the texts are rooted in a particular set of core (neo-liberal) beliefs about the economy and its functioning, what we call the ‘consensus view’; (2) the crisis is perceived as an opportunity not to be missed to implement long due reforms aimed at a neo-liberal reshaping of the economy and society and (3) the texts were mainly concerned with deflecting opposition to, or fabricating consent in favour of, the troika’s ‘adjustment’.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): adjustment programme; austerity; consent; crisis; economic journalism; Portugal
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