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Human Suffering to the Highest Bidder | The Pornography of Misery

One of the recently leaked State Department cables described a fascinating media war breaking out, if I remember right, in Italy, where Berlusconi commands a formidable media machine. Or perhaps it was Thailand, where competing media moguls vie for power. Or Colombia, for that matter.

Vejam só este jornal
Verdadeiro hospital
Porta voz do bangue-bangue
Da polícia central

Comunique-se covers the last development in the Globo-Record wars of religion as Record, bankrolled by a powerful Protestant evangelical denomination, takes aim on its decades-olds ratings leadership.

There has been a great deal of talent poaching between the two networks, most going off to Record, which pays higher salaries, one hears.

Journalist Luciano Zimbrão is accusing TV Record of stealing images shot by him but sold exclusively to TV Globo. The video shows the rescue of Marcelo Pinheiro Fonseca, trapped for 16 in the rubble of Teresópolis,during the tragedy that befell the mountains of Rio last week.

The video was signed over to TV Globo and local TV stations, according to Flávio Ricco in his column, giving TV Globo national exhibition rights on Sunday evening’s Fantástico. But a Record producer identified as Monique, said she contracted the filmographer, said she was at TV Terê, which was getting the live feed. Zimbrão had promised exclusive rights to TV Globo along with other images, such as the rescue shown nationally on Fantástico. The producer pressed her case but seemed to understand the position the videographer was in. Even so, the footage was shown on Record’s Domingo Espetacular, before Fantástico.

First of all, fighting over a scoop while some poor woman lies buried for 16 hours is Brazilian journalism in a nutshell. Brazilian popular journalism is a kind of pornography of human misery.

Secondly, if TV stations and newspapers would only bear the extra cost of having someone on the payroll, these divided loyalties would not crop up with such frequency.

“It was nasty what they did to me. They burned my professional with Globom even . I helped Globo produce the report, it was two days of work. But  Record put the footage on first, and what’s more, in a sensationalistic manner”, he said.

A Record spokesperson denied any illegality  The broadcaster said the video was a kind gesture by TV Teré. But Zimbrão disagrees. “TV Terê called me saying Record was interested, and put me in touch with the producer, but I told here I had already signed a deal with Globo”.

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