Brazilian reporter says he was fired because of political pressure

In his blog on the Luis Nassif website, Brazilian journalist Ricardo Gomez Filho claims he was fired from the São Paulo newspaper Folha Metropolitana on July 7 at the request of congressman Carlos Roberto de Campos of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB in Portuguese).

The reason for the political pressure to fire Gomez was an interview wherein the journalist questioned the legislator about nepotism in the state energy department of São Paulo, headed by José Aníbal, a federal congressman from the same political party as Campos. Campos criticized the nepotism, but after the story was published, he went to the newspaper and demanded the reporter be fired, according to Correio do Brasil.

Gomez said he no longer has any illusions about the independence of the newspaper, but that independence from political parties is necessary for a newspaper to function, he said in an interview with the news site Vi o Mundo.

In February, reporter Aguirre Peixoto was fired from the newspaper A Tarde in northeastern Brazil because of alleged pressure from local businesses, but the journalist was re-hired after his colleagues went on strike, and after severe criticism from groups like the Brazilian Press Association.

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.