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In Brazil, When Things Go Wrong They Just Blame the Press PDF Print E-mail
2012 - February 2012
Written by Max Bono   
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 03:17

Dilma gives interview Salvador, Bahia, commemoration event of the Holocaust organized by the Brazilian Jewish community in the Bahian capital. The press is squeezed in a small area at about 20-30 meters from the stand where president Dilma Rousseff is staying. After the event the president flies away. No questions from the press.

We silly journalists came for the event well in advance, sometimes taking flights from cities far away to talk to the president. For nothing. Dilma did not have time for us. She flew away without giving us a minute of her time.

Somebody protests that the event was about discrimination and we were discriminated. The security does not even let us go out. We have to wait everybody to get out before we can get out.

Salvador, Bahia. A couple of weeks before the strike of the policemen in Bahia I asked to be received by the Governor of Bahia for an interview about public security in the state. I am an international journalist. Not very common for an international reporter to come to Bahia other than for the Carnaval. I received no answer from the office of the Governor despite several emails I sent.

Salvador, Bahia. After the failure of the strike the press is blamed by the military police for all that went wrong. They didn't blame the criminal and terrorists acts done by the military police, hijacking autobus and paralyzing the traffic in the streets. Neither the arrastões (flash mob assaults) in the shopping centers.

Rio, Rio de Janeiro state. The journalists from Rede Globo are expelled by the area of the police on strike. They are depicting a wrong picture of the strike. They are responsible for the growing failure of the strike in Rio.

What is funny in what is happening in Brazil? Both sides of the strike, the authorities and the strikers, are punishing the press. The press is responsible for everything. The strong powers ignore the press. Journalists are seen as a pain in the neck by politicians. But also police strikers do not like the picture the press gives of them.

Journalists are always criticized in Brazil. But they play a very important role. Seven ministers stepped down among allegations of corruption and similar charges. And the press was responsible for revealing that.

To be an investigative journalist is a serious risky job in Brazil. You risk your own life most of the time for a low pay. Brazil is not like the Anglo-Saxon countries, where the press is so strong that they can even blackmail the strong powers.

Look at the UK for instance. The Murdoch group was effectively such a strong power for UK politics that British Prime ministers were always in good relations with that group. Rede Globo in Brazil has a strong power too. But only Rede Globo.

95% of the journalists in Brazil, especially the not very-well known reporters, are sometimes in the hands of God when it comes to job security or even their own life security.

Journalists killed in Brazil while on the job are many and sometimes not even known by the large press. But why is that? Because civil society in Brazil is not very well organized. Especially in the North and Northeast of Brazil. The journalist is seen as an intruder. Someone to stay away from.

And especially foreign journalists feel uncomfortable in Brazil. Because they are used to ask questions that go straight to the point. And that makes people feel like they are being offended. While that is not true.

I remember once I was interviewing a not well known politician. I asked some questions about his controversial past. And he answered: "Who are you to ask me that? A journalist? A foreign journalist?" And then he laughed loudly. But do you know what?

If Brazil wants to be the 6th economy in the world and wants to be a global player, Brazil has to play according to international rules. And Brazil has to respect the freedom of the press.

Otherwise it will remain a regional player with no power. Maybe the politicians should think about that, especially when they travel abroad to meet with potential investors in Brazil.

Max Bono is an investigative journalist traveling in Brazil.  You can contact him at researchinrio@yahoo.com.



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Comments (6)Add Comment
Max Bozo Joker investigative journalist
written by Nicholas (usa_male), February 15, 2012
"...the Anglo-Saxon countries, where the press is so strong that they can even blackmail the strong powers."

BaHaHaHaHasmilies/grin.gif

You mean those corporate pimps/left vs right losers/ presstitutes who act tough on tv but kiss the corporate hookers butt and ask questions like "what is your favorite pizza". My god Max Boner, the more you blog here, the more you prove that you're an embarresment.

"If Brazil wants to be the 6th economy in the world and wants to be a global player, Brazil has to play according to international rules. And Brazil has to respect the freedom of the press."

It's not a question anymore if Brazil is the 6th largest economy in the world. It is according to the "experts" (i'm not one of them) and it has NOTHING to do with respect of freedom of press. The US is the SO CALLED (fake GDP numbers) largest economy in the world where they have a hard time to respect the freedom of the press. Who dares to question that is an imbecile and lives under a rock, because it's a fact.

If the president doesn't have time for a clown like you and one of the governors (who I don't blame), or one of the ministers/senators/represetatives, doesn't mean they don't have respect for free press, but can mean they have simply no time for an amateur like you.

Last, Brazil must do nothing. It plays by it's own rule. What international rule. Every nation does that. If you don't respect the rules there in Brazil or don't like their way of free press, you don't have to stay there, you leave. It's like here in the US, if you don't like it, Get the F out. Brazil is similar.
Nicholas (usa_male)
written by João da Silva, February 16, 2012

Look at the UK for instance. The Murdoch group was effectively such a strong power for UK politics that British Prime ministers were always in good relations with that group.


Hate to say you missed to rebut Boner's above mentioned statement, Nick. smilies/wink.gif

If I recall my failing memory, WSJ was bought by the Murdoch group, wasn't it? I am not sure how WSJ is these days, but...but...but...hopefully it hasn't been turned into another tabloid. smilies/wink.gifsmilies/cheesy.gifsmilies/grin.gif
...
written by nicholas (usa_male), February 16, 2012
"Look at the UK for instance. The Murdoch group was effectively such a strong power for UK politics that British Prime ministers were always in good relations with that group."

Well Joao, read well and you read the key words: was and were. meaning not anymore but it's amazing how that joker just dare to use that example of how GREAT that the anglo media is. oH they are not so biased and corrupted and sooo tough on their policians (who aren't paying Pupert Murdoch.


"hopefully it hasn't been turned into another tabloid."

Don't hold your breath, cause it is just another tabloid, a mouthpiece of those fake free traders...I mean Neo-Liberals. They all are a joke.

The 4 pillars of a strong society includes a strong & independent press- whether domestic or foreign
written by John R Miller, March 05, 2012
The pillars of a civil society (judicial, democracy, open communication, human rights, etc) includes a strong & independent press - whether domestic or foreign.
Brasil has had many excellent examples of both domestic and foreign press exposing the less-than-perfect aspects of society. And we have all benefited from this. May it continue to improve, prosper and florish, in the face of the many obstacles including violence, ignorance, lack of respect from its politicians.


...
written by Sereto, March 15, 2012
In-depth and un-biased news coverage from 180 countries, updated 24/7 available by WORLD NEWS, www.worldnews.co.in
Nicholas your comment is rude and off the mark
written by CNA, June 14, 2012
Nick your comment is rude and off the mark. Healthy press is fundamental to a healthy society, judicial system and economic competitiveness, and I would suggest that brazilians' understanding of this is one of the greatest concerns to the readers of this website.

And is Max right about Murdoch? Well the following is happening right now: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7406606n


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