Ombudsmen in the Brazilian and Portuguese media: a reflection on the activities developed between 1989 and 2013



How to Cite

Paulino, F. O., & Oliveira, M. (2014). Ombudsmen in the Brazilian and Portuguese media: a reflection on the activities developed between 1989 and 2013. Brazilian Journalism Research, 10(1), 58–75.


This article aims to reflect on the history of the practices of ombudsmen in the Brazilian and Portuguese media, seeking simultaneously to identify the challenges and difficulties inherent to this function in mediatic communication. A comparative approach is adopted here, which, as is generally the case in social science, seeks to discover regularities and recognize differences in the activities developed by the ombudsmen in Brazil and Portugal between 1989 and 2013. Hence, using comparison to obtain a method to objectify the analysis, this study purports to outline the function in communication vehicles in both countries. With almost 25 years’ existence in the lusophone sphere and, despite having properties such as the accountability mechanism, hetero- and auto-regulation, the ombudsman has not been widely adopted in Portuguese-speaking countries. In Brazil, the expansion of the function is still conceivable, while in Portugal, the ombudsman is an instrument undergoing steady decline. Affected by the European economic crisis, the Portuguese media have resisted the establishment of the institution  and those who have already accepted it seem to be abandoning it progressively.


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