New Magazine Vows to Show Brazilians a Brazil They Ignore and Neglect

Brasileiro's director Hélio Campos Mello

Brave Brazilians telling stories about so many other brave Brazilians. This
is the proposal of monthly magazine Brasileiros (Brazilians), by the publishing
house that goes by the same name, to be launched on June 28, all over Brazil.
Hélio, Ricardo, Nirlando and team are going to show readers the stories of
Faustinos, Franciscos, Walmores, Marílias, Déboras and Amélias.

“We are going to bring great articles back to Brazilian magazine journalism,” stated Hélio Campos Mello, the newsroom director.


Brasileiros was born from an ancient idea by Campos Mello, those that you write, take note of in a Moleskine – the legendary notebook used, among others, by Picasso – and plan to execute one day. It arose when he was still working for magazine Isto É, published by Editora Três, where he spent 12 years as the newsroom director.


“In a weekly magazine, many things have to be left out. It is a constant struggle for space, an exercise in guiding a funnel. So I thought: I want to make a more elaborate magazine, where subjects may be better worked,” explained the journalist and photographer.


The references, apart from the experience of the team, are the legendary Brazilian magazine Realidade (Reality) – published between 1966 and 1976 – and American publication Vanity Fair. Campos Mello has something to say on that: “Vanity Fair is known for its covers with personalities from Hollywood, but has articles that are very well written, structured,” he explains.


As references and ideas are not enough to produce a magazine, Campos Mello registered name Brasileiros. The publication started gaining soul in talks with Nirlando Beirão and Ricardo Kotscho, friends from way back, from other newsrooms. Body came later, with the contribution of Hélio de Almeida, a graphic designer. Almeida created the logo, showed routes. The magazine gained shape.


In 2006, Campos Mello left Isto É and started working on the content of the publication together with Nirlando and Kotscho. One thing was for sure from early on: the line of publishing would not be handcuffed.


“Any Brazilian with a good story to tell is interesting. We do not want to reinvent the wheel, but to look at Brazil with a sharper eye, to escape the traditional São Paulo-Rio-Brasília axis. I always say that the news of the country has too much Brasília (the Brazilian capital) and too little Brazil,” stated Ricardo Kotscho.


The result arose in the first months of this year: a mix of articles with personalities who made history in the country and abroad, and the story of anonymous Brazilians who made Brazil.


To place all the themes – and everybody – in harmony, the magazine was divided into three master blocks, according to Campos Mello. In the first part, called 30 days, the reader finds articles about subjects like politics, economics, culture, sports, etc.


The section has a differential, and will count on special collaborators. To speak about a new CD by singer Erasmo Carlos, for example, Wanderléa, a partner that played with him and Roberto Carlos in the 1960s was called in.


Another example, actress Hermilla Guedes, from the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco and who acted in the movie O Céu de Suely (Suely in the Sky), writes about Garagem, a very unique bar in Recife, the capital of Pernambuco. “The idea of 30 days is to bring these people closer to the readers of the magazine,” explained Campos Mello.


Another important part of the magazine is Dossiê (Dossier). At a time of sale and purchase of incriminating political dossiers made in Brasília, Brasileiros is just playing with the name. The articles in the section will discuss a matter to exhaustion, showing the important points that deserve to be known by the reader.


The theme may be hot, which means current in journalistic jargon, like those regarding biofuels in Brazil – mapping the sector, showing what has been and what will be done in the area – or curious, like a study about the marine species on the Brazilian coast.


Double Dynamics


The third block opens doors to great articles, those that are the result of a partnership between the reporter and the photographer, a fundamental posture for the practice of good journalism. Great images and interview with content are going to show Brazil and the Brazilians.


In edition number one, for example, the readers will travel to our Texas, in Rio Grande do Norte. They will meet the humble sheikhs of the region. Campos Mello photographed, Kotscho interviewed residents in the city of Mossoró, which has 215,000 inhabitants, who are seeing their simple life being changed for the better with the Petrobras oil export.


Last year alone, the company transferred around 30 million Brazilian reais (US$ 15.8 million) to 1,096 landowners in the region for oilrigs that are producing. The value is due to royalties paid to extract oil on the properties, generally small ones.


Another two articles show the varied production of the Brasileiros team. In the first one, the team meets actor Walmor Chagas, who lives alone on a farm in the Mantiqueira mountain range, in Guaratinguetá region, in the interior of São Paulo.


He only leaves the premises to shoot TV or cinema scenes. And when he leaves, he tells journalist Roberto Benevides how much he misses the solitude. The images of the unencumbered solitude of Chagas were captured by the lenses of Campos Mello.


The second article, also very special, shows the brave Brazilians who decided to follow the difficult career of air force pilots. The stories of the cadets, of military life, are in an article written by collaborator Eduardo Hollanda and share the space with a series of black and white photographs by photographer J.R. Duran, best known for his hot pictorials for Playboy.


And this is just a sample of what readers might expect from the coming numbers, in the 132 pages of Brasileiros. The initial circulation will be 50,000 copies.


Anba – www.anba.com.br

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