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Globo | The Day The Eyeball Blinked

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Two very different responses to the day O Globo stood still — publishing an editorial in which it (kind of) takes responsibility for its support for the 1964 coup. Luis Nassif evaluates the publication as a charm offensive, whereas Pedero Ekman of Intervozes disccovers a woeful lack of candor.

Source: O dia em que a Globo piscou | Brasilianas.Org.

Autor:  Luis Nassif

Last Friday, the Globo Organizations surprised Brazil with a self-critique of its support for the military dictatorship.

It sounded artificial.

The previous day, em São Paulo, young protestors threw shit at its São Paulo headquarters. Except for Veja magazine, there is no news organization capable of awakening such love and such hate.

***

To understand this demonstration of weakness on Globo’s part, an analysis of the current stage of the Brazilian media is necessary

The Internet market is disputed by three grous: the traditional media, the telephone companies, and the major social networks, such as Google and Facebook.

Before, the media sold advertising, telephony sold minutes and the social networks sold dreams. Now, the social networks sell ads, telephone calls and films on demand. In the U.S. they completely dominate big, nationwide advertisers and classifieds.

***

Last year, Google booked the second largest turnover from ads in Brazil — R$ 2.5 billion, second only to Globo and leading Abril and other media groups. This year, the figure should  grow by R$ 1 billion.

***

“Old media” groups and telephone companies both have good reason to plead for a leveling of the playing field with foreign groups — which don’t play taxes in Brazil or the contributions imposed on cable TV channels.

To establish this equality of rights, a new legal framework will be needed. The path will be the Media Law — proposed years ago by Franklin Martins when he served as federal communications secretary .

Despite this, the Media Law has been demonized, as though it were an instrument for silencing the media. Now, a change is needed in the legal structure that defines the new boundaries of communications. But Globo is silent.

***

Some days ago, someone close to João Roberto Marinho – one of the Globo heirs – heard him express surprise at the hatred the company inspires, the uneasiness of allies — its major allies, Folha, Abril and  Estadão, are increasingly out of breath, and its discomfort with the social networks.

***

In face, the telecom industry counts on the highly visible lobbying of Minister of Communications Paulo Bernardo.

Globo now faces the most delicate moment in its history, having lost its historic power to define the laws to benefit itself , and is increasingly isolated.

This explains the changes.

Recently, Globo exchanged its lobbyist in Brasília -– Evandro Guimarães, a competent man though an heir to the  “masters of the universe” school of lobbying — for a another, more politically oriented. It hired an executive to develop a plan to cut costs in order to adapt to new times.

Its news broadcasts will likely turn less tendentious. They might even actually start producing first-rate journalism again — critical but pluralistic.

CBN listeners, and the viewers of Jornal Nacional and Globo News will once again enjoy commentaries that are balanced and commonsensical, critical, yes, but without predicting the end of the world or the invasion of Brazil by Fidel Castro.

Globo will remain a powershouse no matter what changes it makes, but the days of absolute power will never return. In the coming years, it will have to do something unthinkable for an organization that deems itself an empire: climb down from its pedestal, regain its legitimacy, and create networks of allies.

Globo Apologizes For Dictatorship. And What About the Rest?

By Pedero Ekman, Intervozes

On Saturday, August 31, in a long editorial, the daily O Globo acknowledge its error in supporting the 1964 coup and the ensuing dictatorship which, over the course of 20 years, buried Brazilian democracy, with consequences that remain down to the present day.  This admission is a major step forward, but it necessary to reflect on what it was that Globo did and the scope of its “apology.”

The historians can judge much better than we can the facts selected by O Globo after reaffirming its “love for democratic values” and justifies the choices made at the time by Roberto Marinho, who is insistently referred to as someone who “was always on the side of legality.”

In a mere five lines, the newspaer admits its error. In 50 it explains why it continued to make it. Other newspapers — Folha, Estadão, Jornal do Brasil and the  Correio da Manhã — also defenders of the coup, contribute to Globo’s argument that “I did wrong, but so did everybody else.”

The reality is that the more Globo wants us to believe in a belated self-criticism — “the fruit of internal debate over the years,” it was the voices in the street that forced its confession. In the June protests the major news organization — protestos de junho, a grande mídia … also became targets. A significant portion of Brazilians shed light on what the media democracy movement has been saying for a long time new: Down with Oligopolies! We want more diversity and plurality! The people have a right to exercise their freedom of expression.

Fortunately, this tide of criticism did not recede between June and now. Last Friday in São Paulo, as well as other states, the Second March Against Media Monopoly once again selected Globo the scene for its protests.

Police estimates were that 120 protesters attended.

A huge banner denounced the relationship between Globo and Senator Fernando Collor and called on the supreme court to approve ADPF 246, which questions the concession and contract renewal to those occupying an elective, whether as a partner or associate, with TV and radio concessionaires.

WIthout visible representation in the mass media, the protestors once more occupied the media by slipping through the cracks. … They invading for the second time the studio of SPTV, the regional Globo newscast, painting anchorwoman Monalisa Perroni green as she spoke live to  millions of viewers. Phrases were projected onto the walls …. : “Globo Evades Taxes”, “Globo Lies”, “Globo Collor” and “Occupy the Media”.

Globo’s editorial also ignores the fact that actions that marked and continue to mark the history of the Globo network, it is necessary to follow the story further.

First of all, it should be acknowledged that Globo received countless advantages from supporting the dictatorship, such as the accord with Time-Life, which made Globo one of the largest media companies in the world.

It should be recalled that the network boycotted coverage of the Diretas Já! — direct elections now — movement for  years. It also erred when in 1989, to favor its candidate for the presidency,Fernando Collor de Mello, with a manipulated editing of the final debate with Lula. It should amit that this same president, after being removed from power by popular pressure, now controls a Globo retransmitter in Alagoas.

More than ever, Globo should admit that currently, the greatest threat to democracy consists in the fact that we have one of the most concentrated media markets in the world. This situation is sustained by the broadcasters and defended by the constant circulation of lobbyists through the Congress. Continuing its efforts to quash public debate on the need for a new regulatory framework for media,  Globo, which helped prevent the return of democracy then, now stands in the way of democracy in the the mass media.

O clamor das ruas, no entanto, revela que esta pauta não pode mais ser adiada. Ao contrário do que prega a grande mídia, os manifestantes sabem muito bem o que estão fazendo e o que querem. Seja com com raios lasers em estúdios; projeções nas paredes ou bandeiras e cartazes nas ruas, a mensagem é clara: é preciso democratizar a mídia. Se, antes, poucos apostariam ser possível ver as ruas repletas de pessoas dispostas a questionar o poder inabalável da máquina de sedução do monopólio midiático, hoje estamos vendo demonstrações cada vez mais fortes de que esse é um debate imprescindível para o Brasil.

Mas, assim como apoiadores da ditadura não vêm a público por livre e espontânea vontade admitir seus erros, não será da boca de quem detém o monopólio da fala que sairá a defesa de leis que permitam maior diversidade e pluralidade na comunicação. Por uma lei da mídia democrática, o povo saiu às ruas e nelas se manterá, até que a democracia possa vencer novamente.

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