First online presidential debate in Brazil surpasses 1.7 million viewers

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  • August 23, 2010

By Maira Magro

Brazil's first online presidential debate, provided by Folha de S. Paulo and the website UOL and still available online, attracted more than 1.7 million views during its first day up on the Internet, reported M&M Online. The debate took place Wednesday, Aug. 18.

During nearly three hours, the three main presidential candidates for Brazil -- Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers Party (PT); José Serra of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB); and Marina Silva, of the Green Party (PV) -- responded to questions from journalists and audience members who participated via web cams.

The journalist Alec Duarte said in Folha that the questions from audience members added a historical element to the debate: themes like abortion, tolls, and inconvenient allies were treated differently when they came from a citizen, rather than a journalist.

The debate was transmitted simultaneously by 80 sites, and a video was available for mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad.

The first online presidential debate was covered by the media from several countries, and even topped the list of most-commented topics on Twitter.

About 190 journalists covered the event at the theater at the Catholic University of Sao Paulo.

See videos and complete coverage of the debate at the UOL site.

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.