The Listening Post

Jair Bolsonaro: A wrecking ball for Brazil’s media?

A look at hate speech and misinformation ahead of Brazil’s election runoff. Plus, Jeremy Corbyn and the UK media.

On this week’s The Listening Post: Hate speech, misinformation and violence swirl around Jair Bolsonaro’s campaign in the run-up to Brazil’s election. Plus, Jeremy Corbyn’s tussle with the UK media.

Jair Bolsonaro and the future of Brazil’s media?

The second and final round of Brazil’s presidential elections take place on Sunday, October 28 and a Jair Bolsonaro victory seems all but sealed. Bolsonaro has a far-right agenda, a penchant for rhetoric that’s misogynistic, racist and threatening, and a campaign that’s been powered by WhatsApp.

Bolsonaro is not a fan of the mainstream media.

Last weekend, he hurled accusations of ‘fake news’ at a newspaper that alleged corporate spending on misinformation campaigns in Bolsonaro’s favour. But he’s got some news outlets on his side, too – most notably Record TV, a network owned by a billionaire evangelical bishop.

If the media activity in the lead up to this election is anything to go by, a Bolsonaro victory could spell trouble for the country’s media.

Leandro Demori – executive editor, The Intercept Brasil
Sergio Ludtke – executive director, Comprova
Marina Atoji – executive manager, Abraji
Uira Machado – assistant managing editor, Folha de Sao Paulo

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to Johanna Hoes about threats against a reporter at Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and the news channels that are reluctant to criticise Saudi Arabia over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Jeremy Corbyn’s tussle with the UK media 

Jeremy Corbyn shocked the political establishment when he was elected leader of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom in 2015.

The result shocked the media establishment too. Initial incredulity quickly turned into a series of criticism organised around ideas of leadership, of murky political associations, of naive economic policies and accusations of anti-semitism.

Amid political instability surrounding the Conservative government’s handling of Brexit, a general election could be on the horizon. Should Corbyn take power, the media story will not just be centred around how he is being covered, but the ideas he himself has about media reform in the UK.

Ash Sarkar – Senior Editor, Novara Media
Will Gore – Executive Editor, The Independent
Justin Schlosberg – Chair of the Media Reform Coalition