LISBON - "Undesert the News" is a constructive journalistic project that focuses on engaging with young individuals from underprivileged communities in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. These young people are typically disconnected from mainstream news and are often overlooked by the rest of the society.

The project's main goal is to address the lack of information coming from within these communities and collaborate with their members to share untold stories, empowering them in the process. This involves guiding them through the complexities of the news media landscape and helping their stories reach a wider audience.

What stories young adults living in the peripheral areas of Lisbon would tell if they had the power to do so in the mainstream media? This project aims exactly at that. Working with youngsters to share  stories that represent a diverse range of experiences and perspectives that are often overlooked. Mensagem will work with three communities in the Lisbon metropolitan area, collaboratively developing innovative storytelling formats while adhering to journalistic standards. The objective is to empower young individuals living in news deserts and those who tend to avoid the news. By helping them constructively build their own narratives, the project seeks to bridge the gap and amplify their voices. Ultimately, "Mensagem" aims to foster understanding, empathy, and positive change within society.

Target group

The main target audience of our media news desert project is the young readers from underreported communities in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. For this pilot, we have selected three neighborhoods: Algueirão/Mem Martins (Sintra), Casal da Mira (Amadora), and Charneca da Caparica (Almada). These neighborhoods have a significant representation of young people, social minorities, and firstgeneration Portuguese residents.

Goals of the project

By working journalistically with three communities in peripherical Lisbon we hope to help put their issues and stories on the media agenda. We also hope to understand and make people understand how to start to reduce inequality and raise the awareness about these communities in the rest of the society – and what does that mean to both sides (the media and the communities).



Mensagem is a community journalism local media based at A Brasileira Café in Chiado district, downtown Lisbon (Portugal).

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