The Listening Post

Brazil: Media, monopolies and political manipulations

An in-depth look at the last two years of political turmoil and media power play in Brazil.

On The Listening Post this week: Two years of political turmoil have revealed the depths of institutional corruption, political opportunism and – crucially – media power in Brazil.

Over the past two years, Latin America‘s largest nation has witnessed one political convulsion after another, with former President Dilma Rousseff removed from power a year ago, and her replacement Michel Temer now facing similar pressure. Coverage of the turmoil by Brazil’s media, the majority of which is owned by historically powerful segments of society, has generated widespread accusations of foul play. The country’s largest media house, Globo, is seen by many as having played the role of zealous activist rather than objective observer in its rolling, positive coverage of the anti-Dilma protests of 2016, and its alleged support for the opposition that lay waiting in the wings.

For many, Globo’s apparent eagerness to accelerate the downfall of the democratically elected Rousseff government brought back memories of the channel’s backing of the 1964 military coup and subsequent dictatorship. We take an in-depth look at Globo’s dominant position in Brazil’s media landscape, both past and present. Also under the spotlight is the country’s second-biggest network, Record TV, owned by a televangelist who also founded his own church.

Later in the show, we explore another enduring legacy of Brazil’s media: the lack of diversity. In a country where more than half the population is of African descent, white Brazilians have long dominated both the news and entertainment industries, both onscreen and off. This has left darker-skinned Brazilians restricted to token appearances and reduced to negative stereotypes. 


Bia Barbosa, media reform campaigner 

Laurindo Lalo Leal Filho

Venicio Da Lima, media historian

Paulo Henrique Amorim, journalist & political scientist

Djamila Ribeiro, activist & academic

Luis Roberto Antonik, Association of Broadcasters

Carlos Latuff, political cartoonist

Elvira Lobato, Author, ‘Instinto de Reporter’

Luciana Barreto, executive editor and host, TV Brasil