Brazilian fact-checking startup Aos Fatos (translated as To the Facts) is celebrating its one-year anniversary and already making plans to expand its digital presence and to invest in publishing via video. Created in July 2015, the organization is dedicated to verifying facts and statements made by authorities, a journalistic practice that has become known as fact-checking.
In a decision that has been heavily criticized by organizations defending freedom of the press, Brazilian courts determined that a photographer was responsible for being hit by a rubber bullet during the country’s protests in 2013.
Voters of 5,570 Brazilian municipalities will go to the polls this year to choose the future leaders and legislators of their cities. A journalism institute has just released an online manual to help the local journalist whose job it is to inform these citizens ahead of municipal elections.
Earlier this year, Brazilian journalist Ricardo Gandour traded the newsroom’s frenetic environment for a somewhat more serene atmosphere of the university. The executive side of Gandour, director of content for media company Grupo Estado, gave space to his academic side as he became a visiting scholar at Columbia Journalism School in New York City. After a six-month stint, the editor will return to Brazil next week where he intends to continue uniting theory and practice.
Update (July 1, 2016): The legal processes and hearings against the Brazilian newspaper Gazeta do Povo were temporarily suspended on June 30 by a judge of the Federal Supreme Court, Rosa Weber, according to O Estado de S. Paulo.
Last week, Brazilian journalists released the campaign Journalists against Harassment in order to denounce cases of harassment against media professionals and to raise public awareness about the issue. The campaign was created after the firing of a reporter who had reported having suffered sexual harassment during an interview with a Brazilian musician.
Media fragmentation in the digital environment carries risks for journalism and for citizens in democratic societies, warns Brazilian journalist Ricardo Gandour, director of content for Grupo Estado and visiting scholar at Columbia Journalism School.
Latin American journalists and editors gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina earlier this month to share experiences and successful methods for producing a kind of investigative journalism that has been growing in the region: fact-checking.
Update (June 16, 2016): Journalist Marcelo Auler was permitted to republish eight of the ten articles censored on his blog. Judge Vanessa Bassani threw out the lawsuit for compensation filed by investigator Maurício Moscardi Grillo after finding an error in the original petition: the home address of the investigator is located in a neighborhood served by another court, which means the original judge should not have heard the case.
Journalistic associations and professionals in Argentina warn that a bill pending in the legislature threatens freedom of expression in the country. If the initiative is passed, reporters who disclose names and information of people who could be involved in crimes of money laundering and tax evasion could be arrested.