Reporting on a Revolution. The Portuguese Revolution of 1974-1975 Viewed Through the Spanish Press
This research aims to present and discuss the Spanish discourse on the Portuguese revolution of 1974-1975 as witnessed in the daily press. Concerning a specific moment of change in the paths of both Portugal and Spain, the Portuguese disruption represents a moment of distress for its neighbouring country. Furthermore, it might be said that both processes of democratisation – a revolution in Portugal and a law-by-law transition in Spain – mutually influenced each other. In the first stage, as Encarnación Lemus suggests (2001, 2002 and 2011), Portugal influenced Spain, and subsequently the Spanish normalisation eventually influenced Portugal. One of the objectives is to understand how, in this first stage, this influence was exerted in the Spanish newspapers. For that purpose a representative sample of legally published press was put together, consisting of newspapers such as ABC, Informaciones and Arriba, published in Madrid; and La Vanguardia, which at that time was forced to employ the adjective “Spanish”, and Tele/eXprés, both published in Barcelona. Editions of these newspapers published between February 1974, a couple of weeks before the coup on 25 April, and April 1976, when the first constitutional legislative elections took place, were extensively read and analysed. This is a piece of research focusing mainly on the use of language, and news display, in the press, and the ways they produce meaning. Following a dynamic of “us” vs “them”, it adheres to a basic assumption that the way international news is reported is profoundly connected to a newspaper’s understanding of its own country. Therefore they often denote their own ideas about the national situation, which is particularly appropriate in the Spanish case, since the eruption of the Portuguese revolutionary process destroyed the Iberian unity constituted by the twin dictatorships: Francoism in Spain and the New State in Portugal.