Online harassment of journalists in Brazil has intensified in recent years due to the potential for exposure created by social media and the institutionalization of these attacks. President Jair Bolsonaro’s attacks against journalists have naturalized this type of violence in these online platforms, and those who should support these professionals are guilty of lack of accountability, reveals a study on violence against journalists on social media.
The survey "Perfil do Jornalista Brasileiro 2021" heard from 7,000 journalists between August and October of last year to draw a current portrait of the journalism profession in Brazil. The final report shows transformations as well as continuities in the journalism scene since the first survey in 2012. Among them is the deepening precariousness of the profession during the last ten years, as shown by low wages, long working hours, and an increase in precarious forms of employment.
The movement to give more focus and increase the visibility of LGBTI+ issues is important, but journalists must be careful not to reproduce misinformation or stigmatize groups that have historically been vulnerable and silenced. Camilla Figueiredo, co-founder of the independent, non-profit organization Agência Diadorim, in Brazil, talks about best practices in content production and in the search for specialized sources on the subject.
The murders of British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous affairs expert Bruno Pereira have drawn national and international attention to the Amazon region where the borders between Brazil, Peru, and Colombia meet. On the Brazilian side, the absence of the State and a strong presence of organized crime inhibit local journalists from reporting on illegal activities.
Brazil is where a growing aversion to the news is worst, as 54% of Brazilians avoid the news, well above the world average of 38%. In Argentina, 46% now say they avoid news content. The other countries in the region surveyed were Chile (38%), Colombia (38%), Mexico (37%), and Peru (37%).
Brazilian journalist Rubens Valente participated in the "5 questions” section of the LatAm Journalism Review (LJR). In the interview, he talks about the conviction that forces him to pay USD 70,000 to a justice of the Supreme Court. "Its effect was that it provoked the worst censorship of all: self-censorship”, Valente said.
The Brazilian digital news outlets AzMina and Núcleo have created the Amplifica project, a tool to follow their readers’ debates on Twitter and to promote conversations between the public and the news outlets on the social network. The idea is that, by getting to know their public better and knowing what their interests are, the media can get closer to their readers and maximize the impact of the journalism they produce.
LatAm Journalism Review (LJR) heard from friends, co-workers and family of Brazilian journalist Tim Lopes, murdered on June 2, 2002. The case provoked profound changes in news companies, with the implementation of security measures and the reduction of coverage in at-risk areas. However, Brazilian journalists feel as vulnerable now, if not more so, than they did 20 years ago.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a silent crisis among journalists: the deterioration of their mental health. In Latin America, ongoing initiatives seek to assess the mental health of journalists. They aim to help them cultivate emotional well-being in an adverse context that, in addition to the pandemic, includes widespread misinformation, as well as violence and hostility against journalists.
Inspired by a global trend, media labs are beginning to emerge within news organizations in Latin America to develop innovative journalism-oriented thinking, accelerate the application of technology, seek solutions to problems, and have an impact.