RESPONDING TO the needs of the growing Portuguese community in the UK, a Portuguese language newspaper was launched in Britain on November 3, entitled As Notícias (the news).
The newspaper is published twice a month and offers news and information relating to both the UK and Portugal. This social and cultural project has been made possible thanks to British Government funding (20 per cent) and funds raised by the largest Portuguese Association in the UK, META Keystone.
The newspaper will boast a circulation of 20,000 copies and is distributed free at more than 400 Portuguese businesses and associations in over 60 locations across the UK.
The ambitious aim for As Notícias is for the circulation figure to reach 50,000 copies by the end of next year.
The newspaper’s director, Eurico Rosa, heads a team of 14 journalists. Correspondents based in London from Portuguese newspapers and contributors from Portuguese communities across the UK will also write for the paper.
“The idea is to produce a newspaper directed at Portuguese immigrants in the UK and to facilitate communication between more than 60 locations where the Portuguese are living and also between the authorities and the community,” explained João de Noronha, director of Keystone Social Enterprises, the social organisation that owns the publication.
The company functions like a commercial enterprise, but the profits are used to assist people within the community.
“We will be using very simple language, because there are high levels of illiteracy among the Portuguese community. Many don’t have much idea about what is happening in Portugal and England so we want to educate them as citizens and help them to understand their rights and their responsibilities,” said Rosa.
The newspaper’s editorial office is located in Thetford, in the Norfolk area where META Keystone is based. This area boasts a very large Portuguese community (around 200,000 according to the organisation).
Official estimates point to there being close to 400,000 Portuguese living in the UK.