Former Brazilian president criticizes the press, praises bloggers

At the II National Meeting of Progressive Bloggers, held June 17-19 in Brasília, Brazilian ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva criticized the press and thanked bloggers for their support during the electoral campaign that brought Dilma Rousseff to the presidency, according to Agência Estado.

Lula said he considers the behavior of the media -- especially the media in Latin America -- to be "regrettable," but he praised independent blogs as being good for democracy, reported Terra.

The former president also called for advances in the regulation of the media and a national bandwidth plan that would broaden the service throughout Brazil.

In regards to the debate over the establishment of a regulatory framework for the media, the minister of communications, Paulo Bernardo, said the press needs to learn how to listen criticism. Bernardo, whose remarks were met with support from bloggers, also denied that the government was trying to impose any type of censorship on the media.

Lawyer Fábio Konder Comparato also came out in favor of regulation and cited a recent UNESCO study about regulation and broadcasting in Brazil as a reminder about the concentration of media companies in Brazil, reported the blog Vi O Mundo.

The national meeting brought together members of social movements and about 400 bloggers who supported Lula's government and the election of Rousseff. The meeting resulted in an open letter reaffirming the main beliefs of attendees, including the democratization of the media, the establishment of a new regulatory framework for the media, and the availability of Internet access throughout the country.

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.