Climate of hate and suspicion fed by Bolsonaro
With threats and physical attacks, Brazil continues to be an especially violent country for the media, and many journalists have been killed in connection with their work. In most cases, these reporters, radio hosts, bloggers or other kinds of information providers were covering stories linked to corruption, public policy or organised crime in small or mid-sized cities, where they are more vulnerable. Journalism has become especially problematic since Jair Bolsonaro’s election as president in October 2018. Insulting, denigrating, stigmatising and humiliating journalists has become President Bolsonaro’s trademark. Any media revelation threatening his or his administration’s interests triggers a new round of violent verbal attacks that foster a climate of hatred and mistrust towards journalists. The coronavirus crisis exposed major problems in accessing information and gave rise to new attacks on the media by Bolsonaro, who blamed and scapegoated them for the crisis. Media ownership continues to be very concentrated, especially in the hands of big business families that are often closely linked to the political class. The confidentiality of journalists’ sources is under constant attack and many investigative reporters have been subjected to abusive judicial proceedings.
107 in 2020
34.05 in 2020