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Globo x The Bad-Faith Litigant

dorneles

Source: DoLaDoDeLá. The author, Maurelio Mello, is a former employee of TV Globo.

We know that the amount of the settlement is about R$ 1 million, but the other terms of the settlement — just recently signed — have not yet been disclosed. Globo is not going to take the risk of suffering a flood of similar claims before it has exhausted appeals in this case.

The judge in the first instance did not even hear all the witnesses, recusing herself in the case of some. These witnesses were Mariano Boni  –ex-chief of Globo’s  São Paulo affiliate — Teresa Garcia (editor in chief of Hoje at the time) —  Rosane Baptista (coordinator of the Jornal Nacional in São Paulo) — and a human resources employee named Valdir.

Globo denied the existence of a binding contract  of employment with the journalist, and argued that he had complete autonomy, was free to decide the best way to develop his stories, and that he could even refuse assignments (remember this last detail: it comes up again).

The appeal took nine months — a record for a labor court. In the meantime, when the case was delivered to the Labor Tribunal, (TST), Globo Participações tried to have  it remanded to the 69th Labor Court in São Paulo, in order to hear more from one of the witnesses, thus creating an opportunity for a settlement:  Dorneles had begun to wonder whether he could prevail in court.

The journalist demanded employee rights withheld from him after finding himself obliged to trade in the role of a worker covered by the CLT for the figure of a small business service contractor in 1988. The calculation of the settlement was based on 20 years  of FGTS contributions and five years (the maximum claim) in other employment.

Who is this wandering pilgrim, then?

Carlos Dorneles is an exemplary BrazilianTV reporter. After working at Folha da Manhã, Zero Hora and RBS-TV, in Porto Alegre, Dodô, as he is fondly called by close friends, came to São Paulo in 1983, where his career began to thrive again.

Born in  Cachoeira do Sul, between 1988 and 1990 he was an international correspondent for  Globo at its London offices, and then, in 1991-2, filled a vacancy in New York. In 2008, without renewing his contract, he accepted an invitation to work as special reporter for the Jornal da Record —  Globo’s principal competitor, where he can still be found working today.

The author of three books and winner of two major journalism awards, Dorneles is admired by all who have had the privilege of working with him, especially “the street people” — technical staff and crew — who see him as a simple, human, modest man, much different than most Brazilian TV reporters, who fall under the spell of their own image up there on the screen.

I was the editor on a number of  Dodô’s program while working at the  Jornal Nacional from 2004 to 2008. I witnessed the events leading to his departure.

Dorneles had a rule: Hewould not allow his text to be edited so as to change the meaning of what he was reporting.

But this is what happened on at least two occasions, when [news & sports executive director] Ali Kamel tried to manipulate the content of one of his stories. In this case, our comrade, in a rare display of selflessness and courage, refused to film the segment and went home to bed.

On Kamel, let me see if I can find some back-blogging on the man.

On another occasion, he was summoned to the newsroom on a Saturday in order to “echo” a Veja magazine cover story that was in line with the editorial policy imposed by Kamel.  He refused again, this time refusing to report on a subject about which he had done no independent reporting.

This is the Brazilian echo-chamber: stories are tossed from one news vehicle to the next and repeated ad nauseam until they absorb the attention off all channels.  No sources are consulted or  verified, much less sat down in front of a microphone and thoroughly questioned.

At the height of the crisis during the presidential elections of 2006, in answer to a question from a student journalist during a lecture in Rio Grande do Sul, Dorneles said that the barons of the media should all be investigated. This bombshell declaration came at delicate moment,  when the broadcaster was accused of failing to cover a plane crash in favor of airing an anti-PT propaganda piece on “the man with the cash in his  the underwear.”

This seriously happened: the Jornal Nacional refused to deviate from its scripted political character assassination to bother with the enormous tragedy of an aviation disaster.  How does William Bonner stand the sight of himself in the mirror of a morning?

After the elections, having failed to elect their candidate, Geraldo Alckmin, Globo began to purge employees. Dorneles was sent off to the Siberia of Globo Rural, where he felt comfortable because it was a chance to work in freedom without concerning himself with the sort of journalism flirted with by Ali Kamel and associates.

There are other lawsuits underway, with less money at stake. As for Globo — which is being investigated for crimes that would startle Al Capone — the ill treatment of one of the best journalists in Brazil, whom they now refer to in court papers as “the litigant in bad faith,” shows you what kind of people we are dealing with.

Which is why if I were you,  reader, I would turn off the kiddy shows, boycott the novelas and even skip the World Cup, because they are worth less than …

… “a rotten box lunch,” but the metaphor does not translate well.