Blog da Cidadania‘s Edu Guimarães is a leading figure in the self-styled «progessive blogsphere» here in Brazil. He writes,
Some days ago, a friend of mine employed by the Editora Abril phoned me to describe his worries over the scandal involving the newsweekly Veja — that is to say, involving the possibility that group publisher Roberto Civita will be subpoenaed to appear before the parliamentary inquiry into the Charlie Waterfall case.
Wiretaps of the numbers racketeer captured the racketeers boasting of their success in planting scandalous cover stories with the magazine to undermine their political enemies and competition.
This friend’s concern was that condemnation of the company will produce blowback affecting the thousands of Abril employees. My response was that my friend should not worry himself, given the likelihood that Civita will succeed in hushing up the case, but also given that the damage will be confined to Veja and not affect the division where my friend works.
We also have friends at Abril and can testify that the vast majority of its knowledge workers are talented and conscientious.
My friend, still worried, said he takes no comfort from this scenario because what is keeping Abril in business nowadays is Veja and its contracts with the state government of S. Paulo, which burns massive amounts of cash from its education budget to buy tens of thousands of copies of Veja and textbooks published by Abril, along with others purchased from the Folha, Estado and Globo groups.
Somewhere here I have informal financials of the Abril group from 2007, at which time it was in the market for private equity partnership. Other than that, however, the company profile is that of a hereditary media robber baronage.
I remembered this conversation when I read the accusations that Veja columnist and blogger Reinaldo Azevedo and other mainstream media figures publish every day against members of a blogosphere opposed to the synergies pursued by the major media and the PSDB, DEM and PPS political parties.
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