By Maira Magro
This election year, the federal government in Brazil has nearly tripled the number of renewals or new permits for the operation of radio stations across the country, reported Folha de S. Paulo.
According to the newspaper, 57% of the permits are connected to politicians or churches. A survey by the newspaper indicates that the government awarded permits to 183 commercial or educational radio stations in 162 municipalities. The Communications Ministry has denied electoral motivations and attributed the increase to a change in its internal organization, according to Folha.
O Globo reported that one of the permits allows for the operation in Alagoas of a radio station that has as a partner one of the children of Senator Renan Calheiros (PMDB-AL). Calheiros is one of the main defenders of Senate President José Sarney (PMDB-AP), who is facing a series of accusations for secret acts.
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.