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RIO 16: Alternative media denounces the coup in Brazil

sexta-feira 5 de agosto de 2016, por Felipe Bianchi,

Todas as versões desta matéria: [English] [Español] [français] [Português do Brasil]

The barriage to the freedom of expression led severous media collectives and counter-hegemonic vehicles to organize a collaborative coverage of the political demonstrations during the games.

The 2016 Olympics will happen in hard times for brazilians. Interim trustee, Michel Temer has sat upon the presidential chair after a coup d’Etat endorsed by corporate media and the judicial system, moving away Dilma Rousseff, who was elected president by the democratic choice of 54 million people. The coup also lifted to power the most conservative forces in brazilian politics. That’s the reason why the scenery of Rio-16 may be not only hot because of the olympic pyre, but also because of massive protests which should take place in Rio to denounce the situation.

Controlled by seven families who form the information oligopoly in the country, the corporate media, commited to the coup process, have been distorting and omitting the struggle for democracy. This barriage led severous media collectives and counter-hegemonic vehicles to organize a collaborative coverage of the political demonstrations during the games. The idea of these groups is to bring the attention of international media by giving light to what’s really happening in the country, despite the tremendous efforts from the media barons and the provisional government to stifle dissenting voices.

To contribute in this important task, the Alternativa Media Center of Studies “Barão de Itararé” is engaged on a multilingual coverage of the acts against Michel Temer and the coup protagonists. Reference in the struggle for the democratization of communication and formed by journalists, intellectuals, digital activists and social movement leaders, the organization will provide content in Portuguese, English, Spanish, French, Russian, Italian and German.

The series will be published on Barão de Itararé’s website (www.baraodeitarare.org.br) and spreaded on Facebook (www.facebook.com/baraomidia) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/cbaraodeitarare). #ForaTemerRio2016 is the hashtag that will label the publications. Reproduction is free, since the source is mentioned.

Temer attacks the freedom of speech
One of the most symbolic cases that represents the offensive of this provisional government towards freedom of speech is the attempt to disassemble the incipient public communication system. “Brazil is a beginner when it comes to public media. We have always strictly followed the United States commercial model”, says Renata Mielli, coordinator of the National Forum for the Democratization of Communication (FNDC). “Our democracy has suffered, for decades, from the absence of a public communication which was capable to report other points of view on facts, reflecting the regional, cultural and political diversity of our population”.

Created back in 2007, the Brasil Enterprise of Communication (EBC) is the ground zero to build this public field. “That means to give voice to segments previously invisible on public debate”, comments Mielli. “TV Brasil, which is part of the EBC, premiered the first TV show directed to the homosexual public, with serious discussion on the issues of this community”. EBC journalism, reflects Mielli, breaks the monolitic speech of the media oligopoly.

The problem, as Mielli explains, is that the coup does not get along with media diversity. “It’s impossible to consolidate an ilegal process if you have resistence and questioning on media”, she warns. “So EBC, a public enterprise bound to the brazilian state, suffered an intervention from the new government, which ilegally named a new director, changing the course of the project”. Justice has annulled the measure (the one and only judicial defeat imposed to Temer until now), but the government is willing to carry on a law altering the public character of EBC.

About the Olympics, Renata Mielli considers that it’s journalistic coverage has two different dimensions: the following of the competition, for sure, but also the observation of what’s going on outside the sports arena. “To produce content bringing the political context to the surface is mandatory to overcome the information siege. This event was conceived during a period of affirmation of brazilian people sovereignty and capacity, but now occurs in a moment of regression. The world will only understand it if there is another narrative on the facts”.

Silencing the dissent
Another measure took by Temer even before Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment is complete - Senate should take the definitive voting right after the end of the Olympics - gives the exact dimension of the coup’s iron fist against diversity of opinion and ideas. The Presidential Secretariat of Social Communication (Secom), responsible for defining the criteria to distribute official advertising funds, broke all the contracts celebrated with progressist blogs and media vehicles.

Altamiro Borges, president of the Barão de Itararé, defends that the sharing criteria is historically undemocratic. “The promotion of counter-hegemonic media is a real debt of the brazilian governments, since these actors have always received too little money, while the families which dominates the media bite almost the whole of this cake. Commited to the coup, these rich families may now devour it entirely”, says.
Author of Blog do Miro, the journalist criticizes Temer attitude of suspending the budget to alternativa media. For him, the concentration scenario will get worse. “As Temer breaks the contracts, he expose his intolerance on freedom of speech and clearly states that this government will not allow dissent”, evaluates Borges.
Rio-2016 and the social movements

With the world’s lens turned to Brazil, popular movements promise to occupy Rio de Janeiro streets to reverberate and denounce the coup d’Etat that’s going on. On august 4, eve of the ceremonial opening of the games, Frente Brasil Popular and Frente Povo Sem Medo are participating on a media conference with the international press. These groups bring together the most important social movements from the country.

The biggest act of these movements will take place at Copacabana, on august 5, starting at 11 am. The banner to be raised by the movements is the following: “Fora Temer! Nenhum direito a menos! Contra a calamidade olímpica!” (“Temer out! Not a single right less! Against the olympic calamity!”).

Ver online : Barão de Itararé