Brazilian government considers changes to media laws

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  • February 28, 2011

By Adriana Prado

Brazil’s Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo says he wants to “comb through” the omnibus bill dealing telecommunications and broadcast regulation, O Estado de S. Paulo reports. The goal is to clarify the languages and provisions in the controversial bill that was initially proposed by Bernardo’s predecessor, Franklin Martins.

President Dilma Rousseff has repeatedly stated her support for press freedom, most recently at the 90-year anniversary of the newspaper Folha de São Paulo. “When we left the dictatorship, we devoted ourselves to press freedom and broke with the past, which banned protests and used censorship,” Rousseff said, quoted by Agência Brasil.

According to Bernardo, the media bill will not affect print media and is primarily an attempt to modernize the sector and its regulatory framework, Globo explains.

At the same time, Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies plans to reconsider a controversial bill that would create a Federal Journalism Council, Folha de S. Paulo reports. The council would have the power to monitor the activities of journalists and punish them for ethical infractions. The bill was originally tabled, because it contradicted another controversial proposal to re-institute the requirement for a professional degree in order to practice journalism.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.