Court bars publication of allegations against Brazilian governor

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  • September 27, 2010

By Maira Magro

An injunction by the Regional Electoral Court in Tocantins state says 84 media outlets are not allowed to publish or broadcast news about a criminal investigation into the state’s incumbent gubernatorial candidate, Carlos Gaguim (PMDB), writes Veja reporter Reinaldo Azevedo. Gaguim’s campaign team formally complained to the court that such reports involved the use of journalism with the political goal of supporting rival candidates.

Judge José Liberato Costa Póvoa’s ruling affects newspapers, magazines, websites, and radio and TV stations, saying that “all media outlets will refrain from the usage, in any form, directly or indirectly, or publication of facts related to candidate Carlos Henrique Gaguim or any other member of his government, as the facts are being investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office of São Paulo," UOL blogger Fernando Rodrigues explains. The judge ruled that the investigation was confidential by court order and that the information used by the press was obtained illegally.

TV Bandeirantes compared the decision to censorship during the military dictatorship and broadcast a cake recipe instead of reporting on the Gaguim case.

See other rulings that have prevented Brazilian media outlets from publishing or broadcasting news during the 2010 elections on Journalism in the Americas' "Map of Electoral Censorship in Brazil."

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.