Portugal Research 2021

news desert


The mapping of Portuguese news desert was made by Giovanni Ramos, a researcher at Re/media.Lab, project of Labcom/University of Beira Interior.

The first mapping was made in September 2020, when 57 cities in news desert were found in Portugal. In September 2021, an update found 61 cities in news desert.

Last year, 61 Portuguese cities did not have any local radio or newspaper registered in ERC (Communication Regulatory). Most cities in a news desert are far from the coast, in small communities with low population and economic activity.


The map was created from two ERC listings: the first with local newspapers (press and digital) and the second with local radio stations. At the end, the list of cities with newspapers or radios was compared with the list of 308 cities in Portugal.

In this research, is important to observe:

  • The survey did not verified if all registered media are actually working.
  • Some newspapers act not only in their cities, but in other communities in the region that don’t have own media. The concept of coverage has many interpretations.
  • There are cases that a newspaper are registered in a city, but act in other.

Some corrections on the 3 topics were made in the mapping process.

Variations compared to the 2020 study

  • There are more cities far from the coast in the news desert situation. The picture describe the atual situation.
  • Special attention to the regions of Alentejo and Trás-os-Montes.
  • There are only two coastal cities in desert news situation in on the map: Castro Marim and Vila do Bispo, both in the Algarve region (southern Portugal). On the border with Spain, there are also nine cities.
  • Braga and Setúbal districts both have only one city in the news desert situation.
  • There are cities that were on the 2020 map and are off the 2021 map. For example: Santa Cruz das Flores (Azores), where a local digital newspaper called Florentinos  opened in January 2021.
  • Trancoso, a city of Guarda district, remains in the news desert area. However, there is an academic project that can solve the problem by the O Bandarra, a Project created in September 2021 at University of Beira Interior by a master’s student. The project will be a journalist outlet soon.

Cities in the News Desert

⦁ Alandroal (Évora – Alentejo)
⦁ Alfândega da Fé (Bragança – Norte)
⦁ Alijó (Vila Real – Norte)
⦁ Almodôvar (Beja – Alentejo)
⦁ Alvito (Beja – Alentejo)
⦁ Arraiolos (Évora – Alentejo)
⦁ Avis (Portalegre – Alentejo)
⦁ Barrancos (Beja – Alentejo)
⦁ Bombarral (Leiria – Centro)
⦁ Calheta (Açores)
⦁ Campo Maior (Portalegre – Alentejo)
⦁ Carregal do Sal (Viseu – Centro)
⦁ Castanheira de Pera (Leiria – Centro)
⦁ Castro Marim (Faro – Algarve)
⦁ Chamusca (Santarém – Alentejo)
⦁ Condeixa-a-Nova (Coimbra – Centro)
⦁ Constância (Santarém – Centro)
⦁ Corvo (Açores)
⦁ Cuba (Beja – Alentejo)
⦁ Figueiró dos Vinhos (Leiria – Centro)
⦁ Freixo de Espada à Cinta (Bragança – Norte)
⦁ Fronteira (Portalegre – Alentejo)
⦁ Gavião (Portalegre – Alentejo)
⦁ Lajes das Flores (Açores)
⦁ Marvão (Portalegre – Alentejo)
⦁ Mesão Frio (Vila Real – Norte)
⦁ Mogadouro (Bragança – Norte)
⦁ Moita (Setúbal – AM Lisboa)
⦁ Mondim de Basto (Vila Real – Norte)
⦁ Monforte (Portalegre – Alentejo)
⦁ Mora (Évora – Alentejo)
⦁ Mortágua (Viseu – Centro)
⦁ Murça (Vila Real – Norte)
⦁ Nisa (Portalegre – Alentejo)
⦁ Nordeste (Açores)
⦁ Oliveira de Frades (Viseu – Centro)
⦁ Ourique (Beja – Alentejo)
⦁ Pedrógão Grande (Leiria – Centro)
⦁ Penedono (Viseu – Norte)
⦁ Penela (Coimbra – Centro)
⦁ Ponta do Sol (Madeira)
⦁ Portel (Évora – Alentejo)
⦁ Povoação (Açores)
⦁ Redondo (Évora – Alentejo)
⦁ Ribeira Brava (Madeira)
⦁ Ribeira de Pena (Vila Real – Norte)
⦁ Sabrosa (Vila Real – Norte)
⦁ Santa Cruz (Madeira)
⦁ Santa Marta de Penaguião (Vila Real – Norte)
⦁ Santana (Madeira)
⦁ Sernancelhe (Viseu – Norte)
⦁ Sobral de Monte Agraço (Lisboa – Centro)
⦁ Sousel (Portalegre – Alentejo)
⦁ Tabuaço (Viseu – Norte)
⦁ Terras de Bouro (Braga – Norte)
⦁ Trancoso (Guarda – Centro)
⦁ Viana do Alentejo (Évora – Alentejo)
⦁ Vila do Bispo (Faro – Algarve)
⦁ Vila Flor (Bragança – Norte)
⦁ Vila Velha de Ródão (Castelo Branco – Centro)
⦁ Vimioso (Bragança – Norte)