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Veja | Brazil and Its Watergate Burglars

Source: Brasil 24/7

Screenshot from 2015-02-27 17:47:26

Brazil is in desperate need for new rules governing the media.

I will say it again.

Brazil is in desperate need for new rules governing the media.

The episode in which a Veja reporter used false names and identities to get to a nephew of Lula is an extraordinary demonstration of what is urgently needed: defining what a reporter can, and more importantly, should not, do.

The reporter had already committed a monstrous error — he had reported on a million-dollar birthday party in Brasília for one of Lula’s nephews. It was soon learned that Lula had no such nephew. The reporter, not content with the stupidity he had already displayed, set out on a mad gallop, targeting a nephew of Lula in Sorocaba, as though he had a divine right of invading the privacy of others.

The British are conducting a debate that Brazil needs to emulate.

In the British case, what led to the conclusion that traditional norms no longer functioned was the discovery that journalists of a Murdoch-owned daily tabloid broken into the mailbox of a small girl who had been kidnapped.

In the end, the girl was slain, but the newspaper died along with her. Within days of discovering the monstrous ways of the tabloid, Murdoch had no choice but to shut it down.

The Brits came to the conclusion that self-regulation of the press had failed and began seeking new methods of oversight.

“Enough.” And this in country in which the judiciary has never been complacent with Big Media, as it is here.

You can imagine what goes on here in Brazil, where the courts tend to be sympathetic, whatever the case may be, to the major news media groups.

Dilma would reduce the problem by means of an economic regulation of the media. And tere is no question but that she should. There are monopolies and oligopolies to be restrained, as in any other sector of the economy. Without policy in these areas, competition is harmed and society at large suffers the consequences.

But this is only part of the drama. Journalistic methods must also be reviewed, as they are in England and, as a matter of fact, in any civilized nation.

Leniency in cases involving the media gives rise to intolerable conduct like dispatchinG a Veja reporter who believes it is acceptable to used deception to harrass a teenage boy.

In a less perfect world, public opinion would rise up against this journalistic barbarity.

But we live in a country where, before the arrival of the Internet and the plurality of voices it supported, public opinion was manipulated by a handful of media “colonels” — Marinhos, Frias, Civitas, Mesquitas and so on.

It is this army of «colonels» that cynically resists the modernization of relations between the press and its audience, the citizenry. harrass

The central argument, constantly repeated by political illiterates who offer them a prime target audience, is that regulation is tantamount to censorship.

As Wellington said, if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.

Not even the colonels can really believe in a mystification of this kind.

No Brazil, the media behaves as though it were a fourth power before whom the authorities bow and tremble.

Who stands to gain by this? The colonels, whose ownership of some of Brazil’s and the world’s great fortunes is no accident.

The loser in this scenario – Brazil.

It is not possible for the interests of media groups to invariably prevail over the public interest.

If Brazil is to be a socially advanced nation, the public interest will have to face down the power of a mere dozen families.