Authors: Rui Novais
The Western newspaper industry is said to be currently going through an era characterised by a set of diverse factors which threatens the subsistence of numerous press titles (Blumler, 2010; Compton and Benedetti, 2010; Cowan and Westphal, 2010; Curran, 2010; Fuller, J.,2010; Graham and Smart, 2010; Kaye and Quinn, 2010; Knee et al., 2009; King, 2010; McChesney and Nichols, 2010; McChesney and Pickard, 2011; Meyer, 2009; Pickard, 2008 and 2011; Nielsen and Levy, 2010). Regardless of the critical and unique facets of the present situation, it is interesting to note that the Portuguese newspaper industry has previously faced similar cyclical challenging situations during the democratic period. Indeed, following the Carnation revolution, back in 1974, the end of the dictatorship brought with it the abolishment of censorship and the introduction of some nonexistent basic freedoms which were to set the appropriate scenario for the establishment of a number of new newspapers. Despite the substantial number of failures and notwithstanding the competition from historic titles, some of the entrants did eventually succeed not only in surviving for a few years, but also in conquering the top market position. Those success press stories, alongside the considerable amount of failures, make it an invaluable opportunity to research this particular Southern European case so as to determine common patterns and reasons for success and failure across time as well as to assess whether this is an unprecedented crisis situation which points to the dying of the newspaper industry or just a transition period.
Dwelling on a quantitative diachronic analysis of the universe of the newspapers with a national range for the democratic period, the main purpose of this paper is to map the reasons for success and failure of those press titles over the last 35 years.
Keywords: written press, business models, entries, dismissals