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Brazil Summit 2013 | International Ballistic Punditry

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Source:  Observatório da Imprensa 

By: Alberto Dines

Ongoing discussion of the Economist cover — “Is Brazil blowing it?” — includes an article today by the dean of the Observatório da Imprensa, who explains this strange new world of synergies between editorial content and the event business.

Meanwhile, the Economist reporter on the story is interviewed by PortalImprensa (PT-Br)

Do you believe the Dilma Rousseff government is one of the principal reasons for the slow development of Brazil?

Yes, unfortunately. In my opinion and that of my editors, it is Rousseff who lost the confidence of the market unnecessarily. I think tihis was an enormous mistake. 

.Alberto Dines writes:

The Economist sells 1.6 million copies each week in 200 countries. Of these, fewer than 9,000 — 8,508, more precisely — are sold in Brazil, on newssstands, in bookstores and by subscription. The press edition costs R$ 505 year year — R$ 127 more than the digital edition.

If every single reader were to feel insulted by last week’s cover, they could organize a boycott and, assuming they pay for the least expensive option, the damage would come to R$ 1,080,516

With its “Brazil Summit 2013” alone, scheduled for 24 October in São Paulo, the events division of the company expect to take in $540,000 –that is, R$ 1,196,640 reais, based on the exchange rate as of September 30.

At least 300 persons have shown themselves willing to pay US$ 1,795 to attend events with Supreme Court justice de Joaquim Barbosa, publicist Nizan Guanaes, David Marcus (Pay Pal), prominent chef Alex Atala and economist-investor Gustavo Franco.

Government and pro-government figures are notable by their absence. Several state governors of the PSDB will be present: Including Marconi Perillo, subject of an ongoing bribery investigation. 

This is not to say that the British magazine makes its living by thrashing the subject of its coverage in order to pocket a quiet sum in exchange for kind words.

The theme of the event will be basically the same as the cover story, and therefore equally uncomfortable: “Amid slow growth and social agitation, Brazil needs to find new drivers of economic success.”

Bullseye: what business executive would not want to find a clear and logical answer to this question, especially when it is delivered by a celebrity?


The Economist holds 100 of this type per year — an average of 8.3 per month. Even paying the handsome speaking fees of the presenters, it turns a decent profit.

What I intend to discuss here is this industry of events, a subsidiary of the Information of Raw Information — in other words, how the lack of debates and research in the Brazilian media opens up opportunities for multinational giants to occupy the sector.

How many reasonably dense reviews — favorable and negative — have been published in our press since September 26, when the news agencies began releasing the content of The Economist published the following day?

  1. Economist’s Rocket to Rio | The Dirty Blogs React
  2. The Case of the Dual Economist?
  3. Brazil Blows Own Horn | Economist Outlook Dismal

The humorous image of an out-of-control missile above Corcovado was repeated by newspapers large and small. The Economist is a magazine for adults. It is intelligent and humorous.

And so when contents of the 14-page text were reported on in our dailies and weeklies, not many tried to answer the question “Who rained on our parade?”

We should recall here that last week, the papers were full of publicity,with plenty of room to spare.

The events industry is incubated in the vacuum left by a news media that is hasty, inattentive, incapable of any form of critical thought. Events are eventual, occasional, irregular. The are, above all, exercises in sociability. They do not serve the constant need for knowledge and critical judgment that news vehicles are suitable to provide. ….

The Economist is very good at three tasks of modern journalism: It produces a magazine that surprises the reader, it supplements its content with a wealth of digital options and it closes the circle with events that generate interest and activity .