Diogo Cunha researcher on portuguese online news media using Arquivo.pt

Transformations of the Websites of Portuguese Newspapers

Reference: http://arquivo.pt/newspapers

How have newspaper websites changed?

The project “Transformations of the presence of Portuguese newspapers on the web (1996-2016): Correio da Manhã, Diário de Notícias, Expresso and Público” was conceived and developed integrating the field of knowledge known as Sciences or Studies of Communication, Media and Journalism in articulation with contributions from other fields of knowledge.

The main objective of the project was to describe, understand and explain tand Público from 1996 to 2016. Therefore, the questions raised were as follows:

  • How have these websites changed over time?
  • What do these changes mean, culturally, economically, and politically?

In order to achieve this objective, it was necessary to raise emerging issues of the current digital ecosystem in the field of journalism and scientific-social research on journalism using web archives, in particular Arquivo.pt. The investigation revealed transformations in the regular design of the various websites of the newspapers studied, and a main set of general development trends was presented:

  • Web pages are increasingly extensive and vertically oriented;
  • Web pages show increasingly aesthetic stability, consolidating the newspaper’s visual identity;
  • Changes are increasingly difficult to note as they are gradually less “macro” and more “micro”;
  • More embedded images and videos are emerging, often framed in galleries, the number of links, buttons, menus and scroll bars are also increasing;
  • The graphical changes, as the changes of web addresses, are sometimes shaped by the relationships of the media companies with audiovisual and telecommunications companies.

Research in communication from web archives

In addition to the answer to the main questions, the placement of emerging issues allowed to understand two central aspects consolidating this research:

  • Web archives are fundamental structures for the preservation of materials characteristic of the current mode of social organization and it is, therefore, important to social scientists to problematize them, in order not only to use them, but to understand them;
  • The current websites of the newspapers studied have a variety of preservation problems and, as revealed by a bibliographic review and through contact with those newspapers and their media companies, those newspapers and companies seem to be unaccustomed to the idea of web preservation, which makes it possible to underline the relevance of web archives in general and of Arquivo.pt in particular.

Those two aspects can serve as clues for future research.


  • Diogo Silva da Cunha, “Mutações Tecnológicas das Interfaces dos Media Online: o caso dos sites da imprensa escrita generalista portuguesa – apresentação de um projecto de investigação” (program, video, slides), Conference presentation in Jornadas FCCN 2017, April 21, 2017;
  • Diogo Silva da Cunha, “Mutações Tecnológicas das Interfaces dos Media Online” (video, slides), Open Class in the Master of New Media and Web Practices, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, May 10, 2017;
  • Diogo Silva da Cunha, Mutações Tecnológicas das Interfaces dos Media Online, Institucional video (video), June 8, 2017;
  • Diogo Silva da Cunha, Transformações da presença dos jornais portugueses na web (1996-2016): Correio da Manhã, Diário de Notícias, Expresso e Público. Relatório final de um estudo de caso do projecto “Investiga XXI”, Report (121 pages), July 31, 2017, updated in December 2017;
  • Diogo Silva da Cunha, “A análise de páginas web em arquivos da web como análise de imagens: casos do jornalismo português a partir do Arquivo.pt” (program, slides, abstract), Conference presentation in II Encontro de Cultura Visual, September 15, 2017;
  • Diogo Silva da Cunha, “The concept of ‘research route’ as a methodological basis for social analysis of web archives, with special attention to the transformations of the websites of Portuguese newspapers as a case study” (program, slides, abstract), Conference presentation in English in the Conference Big Data on Human and Social Sciences. History, Issues and Challenges, November 6, 2017;
  • Diogo Silva da Cunha, “Transformações da presença dos jornais portugueses na web (1996-2016): Correio da Manhã, Diário de Notícias, Expresso e Público” (program, video, slides), Conference presentation in Evento Arquivo.pt 2017, November 8, 2017;
  • Diogo Silva da Cunha, “Transformações dos websites dos jornais portugueses: Correio da ManhãDiário de NotíciasExpresso e Público (1996-2016)” (program, slides, abstract), Conference presentation in Congresso Ibercom 2017, November 18, 2017;
  • Diogo Silva da Cunha, “Transformações dos websites dos jornais portugueses: Correio da ManhãDiário de NotíciasExpresso e Público (1996-2016)”, Article (24 pages) in Lopes, M. I. V.; Ribeiro, N.; Castro, G. G. S. & Burnay, C. D. (orgs) (2018), Comunicação, Diversidade e Tolerância. XV Congresso Ibero-Americano de Comunicação. Ibercom 2017, Livro de Anais (pp. 5084-5107). São Paulo/Lisboa: Escola de Comunicações e Artes da Universidade de São Paulo e Faculdade de Ciências Humanas da Universidade Católica Portuguesa (pre-print) (Portuguese);
  • Diogo Silva da Cunha, “Implicações onto-epistemológicas da reconfiguração do arquivo na era informacional” (program, slides, abstract), Conference presentation in X Congresso da Sopcom, November 27, 2017 (Portuguese);
  • Diogo Silva da Cunha, “Today’s news to be forgotten tomorrow?“, Blog post in nternational Internet Preservation Consortium Blog, February 28, 2018 (English);
  • Diogo Silva da Cunha, “Os Arquivos da Web na Investigação em Comunicação, Media e Jornalismo”, Class in the Master in Journalism, Escola Superior de Comunicação Social, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, May 24, 2018.

See application form and initial proposal.