After nearly seven decades on the air, the Voice of Brazil (Voz do Brasil), the radio program with the largest
audience in the country, received a new face, a new format, and new voices on September
1st. Nine million people listen to the
Voice of Brazil every day. The program's reach extends from riverbank communities in the Amazon to offices along the most
modern avenues of metropolitan centers like São Paulo.
The chief transformation is in the editorial content. The reports, which used to center around the activities and
speeches of Federal Government Executive officials, now focus on the citizen. "The Voice of Brazil leaves the office and hits the
street, with reports based on the needs of listeners," explains Helenise Brant, the program's new editor-in-chief.
"The Guarani," the Voice of Brazil's musical opening theme, received new versions prepared by maestro Sérgio Sá.
Together with the musical tags that accompany the news stories, the opening theme, which is part of an opera of the same name
written by Brazilian composer Carlos Gomes, will have variations in various Brazilian popular rhythms
(forró, samba, choro,
bossa-nova, capoeira, and moda de
viola), as well as techno and drum and bass.
"The transformation of the Voice implied a change in sound," says Sá. "I had problems with the formal aspect of the
program, and contributing to make it attractive was very interesting," he recounts.
The Voice of Brazil is now presented by four people. Besides the announcers Luciano Seixas and Luiz Fara
Monteiro, journalists Kátia Sartorio and Leandro Fortes, both from Radiobrás, are also participating. The two of them will have
the function of putting the news in context and making it more objective for the ordinary citizen.
It took nearly three months of studies, research, and try-outs to assemble the new format of the news show. This is
the second editorial reform that has occurred in the program. In 1999, new musical tags were introduced, the announcing
style became a bit less formal, and there were changes in the sections.
Now the program is starting a new chapter in its trajectory, which began in 1932, under the Administration of
Getúlio Vargas, under the name A Hora do Brasil. The Voice has accompanied 24 Presidents, has already had three different
names, and has reported the promulgation of four different Constitutions and eight changes in the currency.
Radiobrás and BBC
At the end of July, Radiobrás and the BBC of London initiated a partnership that includes two daily five-minute
bulletins, with news from BBC correspondents around the world for transmission by the National radio stations of Brasília, Rio de
Janeiro, and the Amazon.
In the inaugural program, BBC correspondents in France, the United States, England, and Argentina reported on
each government's reasons for reforming the social security system and the reactions of public servants. The partnership
was introduced by the News Directors of Radiobrás, Gustavo Krieger, and the BBC, Américo Martins.
According to the president of Radiobrás, Eugênio Bucci, the agreement is a landmark and a model. "This is just the
first step in an institutional partnership which we hope will be long and fruitful. It is a landmark in the public information
sector. It is part of our effort at Radiobrás to accomplish our mission, which is to provide Brazilians with quality information,"
Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, discussed recently the creation of an international TV channel for Brazilian
government communication with president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Following the
conversation Gil said that both he and the President were working on the
project, "to open a channel of communication connecting Brazil with the world,"
and had decided to study the possibility in depth with the Government
Communications Secretariat (Secom) and the Government Communications Corporation
The material for this article was supplied by Agência Brasil (AB), the official press agency of the Brazilian
government. Comments are welcome at email@example.com