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The (Big) State of Brazilian Journalism

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Pitiful, how the Estado de S. Paulo metro daily has taken to the production of quasi-fake news of late, in the form of topical coverage of conference events produced by the newspaper itself for its various clients and then reported on as if objectively newsworthy.  Continue reading

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Restoring the Media Latifundio: The Bitter End of Argentina’s 678

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Sources | Carta Maior, Blue Bus (Brazil)

Restoring the media latifundio in Argentina: This is apparently one of the first priorities of the shock politics the new conservative administration intends to establish in Argentina over the next 100 days, along with other repressive measures in the areas of politics, economics and the administration of justice.

One of the first announcements of the government, even before the swearing in of Mauricio Macri … was that the television program 678, broadcast in prime time by state-owned TV Publica and competing with commercial media groups, would be discontinued.

Continue reading

Editora Abril | Death of an Aging Playboy

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The dismantling of the Editora Abril publishing house continues. Abril has just announced it will cease publishing Playboy, Men’s Health and Women’s Health.

Source: Jornal GGN (Luis Nassif)

A former magazine executive at Abril who served on a number of its publications, reports that in recent days the circulation of Playboy has fallen to a mere 15,000, while Placar has sold only 8,000. According to this same former senior editor, Veja magazine sells no more than 400,000 nationwide.

Abril did not offer to return sums paid for subscriptions to the cancelled publications. Subscribes will have to select other titles.
The closing of these former heavyweight circulation champions was described, in a note issued by Abril, as «part of a deep and daring change in the company begun last year with a review of our product portfolio and a radical reshaping of Abril products offered to its readership, its advertisers and its agents.»
The new approach, according to this note, will consist of working with the subscriber database and offering integrated advertising on products offered through a variety of media.
More specifically, Abril will create channels known as «Big Data (ABD – Abril Big Data) and Branded Content (Studio ABC – Abril Branded Content).
A memorable Playboy cover (above) was this tropical Fawn Hall — Mônica Veloso » — in a sex scandal targeting the president of the Senate.
As it turned out, the same attorney negotiating a preview of the witness testimony was also negotiating the half million-dollar fee for «baring all». As I described it at the time,
Mônica Veloso is a TV Globo journalist and [PMDB] political marketing entrepreneur who (1) had an affair with the president of the Brazilian Senate, (2) wound up bearing him a daughter, and then (3) negotiated a child-support agreement that (4) became the subject of a media-driven political scandal.
Editora Abril, controlled by the  Civita family, announces it will no longer publish Playboy, one of its most traditional titles, with 40 years in the market. In the grip of a financial crisis, Abril, which also publishes Veja magazine … has found it difficult to adapt to the digital era, not only in the erotic magazine market but in other areas as well. Other magazines may be closed in the coming months and Abril itself may be sold.
 Portal Imprensa:

Além dos três títulos, a Abril já havia se desfeito de algumas outras marcas em 2015. Em junho, IMPRENSA informou que a editora havia demitido 120 funcionários e vendido títulos como Placar, Contigo, Você SA, Você RH, Ana Maria, Tititi e Arquitetura e Construção, repassadas à Editora Caras.

No mesmo mês, a revista Educar para Crescer foi descontinuada e Guia Quatro Rodas incorporada às revistas Viagem e Turismo, Veja São Paulo e Veja Rio.

Mexico Stands Up to Its Globo | Conversa Afiada

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I am not a big fan of the noisy Conversa Afiada –brainchild of TV Record reporter PHA — but I thank it for tipping me off to an important story from Mexico, as reported by the indomitable Carmen Aristegui, ex-CNN Español.

Regulatory agencies are attempting to rein in Televisa and its 75% lock on the Mexican broadcast media market.

Let me present an excerpt from the more technical treatment of the historic trust-busting, rule-changing decrees and resolutions, followed by an analysis by PHA, among whose virtues is an understanding of the parallels between Brazilian Globo and Mexican Televisa — both of them attempted stealers of elections — and of the activities of the Mexican magnate Carlos Slim in Brazil.

Televisa is a “dominant economic agent,” rules Ifetel

“The resolution announced yesterday by the Federal Institue of Telecommunications (IFT) imposes various and significant measures, conditions and restrictions on the broadcasting business of the Televisa Group,” the company recognizes.

IFTel declared Televisa a dominant economic agent in the broadcasting market and will subject it to a series of regulatory measures.

The empire of Emilio Azcárraga Jean will be obliged to share infrastructure, turn over to IFTel the terms and conditions of its advertising broadcasts and will not be allowed to acquire exclusive transmission rights in Mexico.

The company acknowledged that “all of these resolutions and actions of the IFT affect the Televisa Group in many areas related to its broadcasting and pay TV businesses, and we will evaluate the scope and impact in a case by case manner, in terms of its operating results, activities and businesses.

And the company warned: “As a result of the size of the declaration of dominance, with its 650 pages and of the complexity of these resolutions and proclamations, we will closely analyze any measure (of a legal, commercial or other nature) that Televisa must take in implementing them.”

Categorizing Televisa as a dominant economic actor in the telecommunications sector imposes the following conditions on its businesses:

Sharing of Infrastructure: Grupo Televisa will be required to place its broadcasting infrastructure at the disposition of third parties in a non-discriminatory, non-exclusive manner, with the exception of broadcasters broadcasters that have 12 MHz or more of broadcast spectrum in the affected region. This infrastructure includes, among other things, non-electronic components of the transmitters, right of way, towers, masts, energy sources and air conditioning systems. This measure aims to expedite the entry of new broadcasters into the market.

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Car Wash | Big Brother Is Watching

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Jean Wyllys, an openly gay Big Brother Brasil winner elected in 2010 to the federal congress by the PSOL, writing this week in CartaCapital.

In the Car Wash case, the major corruption schemes – constantly portrayed in the media as proof of the moral degradation of specific individuals and generally associated with the party in power – are shown for what they really are: a fundamental component of a sociopolitical system controlled not by corrupt civil servants but by the companies that corrupt them.

Nine such companies are currently under investigation: OAS, UTC, Queiroz Galvão, Odebrecht, Camargo Corrêa, Iesa, Galvão Engenharia, Mendes Junior, and Engevix. Altogether, they have R$ 59 billion in contracts with Petrobras.

In Rio de Janeiro alone, three companies  (OAS, Camargo Corrêa and Odebrecht) are participating as associates in various consortia building the ten largest public works for the World Cup and the Olympics (Subway Line 4, Maracanã, Parque Olímpico, Transcarioca, Transolímpica, Porto Maravilha etc.) at a cost of R$ 30 billion.

They have contracts with governments of nearly every stripe and color. Some have partnered with government in the privatization of airports and other PAC projects, and some are working on the São Paulo subway, marred by a corruption scandal in which governor Geraldo Alckmin, who also received money from public works contractors for his campaign, is under investigation.

More recently, the state-owned Sabesp [BVMF:SBSP3] —  has fessed up to delaying news about a looming water shortage in the state during the campaign season.

The CEO of Sabesp was overheard on tape telling her colleagues that it was a “mistake” to postpone public announcements on the issue.

If it does not rain by November, there will be outages where now there seem to be discreet adjustments in the middle of the night, the morning paper says.

Both federal and state administrations have made extensive use of the PPP — public-private partnership — to organize Pharaonic undertakings. Is there something endemic about the model, that makes it risk-insensitive?  Continue reading

SEO | A Triple-Click on Google & Bing

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As Diane Wong of the Australian iProspect SEO shop noted earlier this year, a newborn, all-Aussie Yahoo-MSN ad alliance pits  Bing Against Google and Yahoo! in Search Advertising.

It got me thinking, but not necessarily thinking straight. Bear this in mind in perusing the following.

It’s now been 4 months since Mi9 launched Bing Ads in Australia & New Zealand. In Australia, Google has around 93 per cent search market share and still remains the most obvious choice of platform for paid search advertisers. So as the Google versus Bing debate continues, will Google’s dominance continue to grow or is Bing’s entry to the Australian market going to overtake Yahoo’s previous market share?

Screenshot from 2014-07-28 11:05:01

A Web crawl of the Brazilian publishing and multimedia sectors demonstrates how central ad servers are to the Brazilian Web, and which, and how, they function.

This is happening in Brazil as well, as when the two ur-portals signed off on an online marketing partnership with an eye to slicing off a piece of as a yet underdeveloped market. This was in April 2013. I wondered whether channels of connectivity observable in the field might explain some inconsistencies. The trade-off with sociometric institutional analysis is often that jobs and those who do them do not follow the organization chart. The result can be a VNO, a “virtual networked organization” in which links in the value chain do not correspond to how things really get done … a clever strategy for the giant institutions — academia, government, civil society — to pursue ends they would rather not be seen as pursuing.

GDA

Not long ago, Prisa and Santillana, the Spanish publishing treasure galleons, were beginning their run for the gold, burning to achieve market share comparable to the multimedia empire of Televisa (75% of the national market!)

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Yahoo! and Bing share a network, after Yahoo! signed on the dotted line with Microsoft Advertising.

On Friday, August 2,  Microsoft will launch a sponsored link service called Bing Ads, to be run by Microsoft Advertising. The service allows the user to manage both Yahoo! and the Bing search engine, in a single central office. The company hopes to stimulate competition among equals with Google, which operates in advertising through the AdWords program.

What can lay reader understand about the whys of this competition and all these strategic gambits, I wondered? Anything? I have collected — so far — a sample of 12,869,601 from 800,000 sites — using a Web crawler developed at the University of Chile — then used SNA techniques to focus on results from the .br TLD.

That data can be sorted somewhat intuitively — the coal has been carted away so the diamonds are more likely still here.  I have begun trying various ways of interpreting these data.

Screenshot from 2014-07-29 08:44:32

[To be continued]

I am curious, for instance, about content provision agreements among the major metro dailies and the mega-portals: the Estado de S. Paulo and Folha de S. Paulo and Globo. Estado now feeds national news to the Yahoo! Brasil site, and there seem to be such convenants to take into account. Much of the foreign news comes from EFE.

The selection of the Editora Abril as the Brazilian franchise of the Huffington Post, after conversing on the subject for the past couple of years. There are several other portals in the space as well — iG, Terra, and R7 (Rede Record) who have displayed signs of rethinking their presence to the reader.

Also curious is the case of Universal Online, a Web portal married not many years ago to the output of the Folha de S. Paulo

Continue reading

Labor Relations | Chico The Vigilante

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Source: CUT | Central Única dos Trabalhadores

Maintenance unions CNTV, Sindesv and Sindvig met this morning with the federal minister of labor, Manoel Dias, to debate and suggest measures that would regulate the hiring of watchmen during the FIFA Cup in Brazil. Estimates are that 50 thousands jobs will be created in this area during the Cup. Continue reading