Week 2 Free Media or Biased Propaganda?
by Cristina Melchior
Let’s talk about Brazil. The former president Dilma Roussef is member of the left-wing Workers’ Party, in power for the last 13 years. Socialist party was in charge for four terms. Lula da Silva who was president for 8 years (two terms), and Dilma Roussef was president for 5 years. After a year of the beginning of her second term, she was removed from office by the Senate after an impeachment trial.
Dilma Rousseff was charged with fiscal fraud in the execution of her duties, including administrative misconduct and illegal government budget maneuvers.
Fiscal misconduct and poor quality of government administration resulted in 12 million unemployed (11.8% of population) and 8.5% of high inflation in the last 12 months.
Until impeachment, little was known about the real situation of the country. Media circulated a few negative comments about the former government. All news were about 13 years of praise to social work, economic development and advancement of democracy.
As soon as the new president Michel Temer, a center-right politician, took the office, he ended the allocation of state advertising budget for websites and blogs. This measure directly affected sites supporting Workers’ Party.
Blogs and sites related to the left-wing party lost their main advertising funding channel. General public, on the other hand, lost the fear of speaking their mind. Blogs and sites freely expressing opinions on the former and current governments have raised with no fear of being rejected.
Have governments the right to allocate public money to fund blogs and sites in order to use propaganda misleading public opinion? Blogs and sites financed by public funding tend to be biased promoting a particular political cause or point of view. I wouldn’t call it free media.