Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Brazil2 August 2007

Appeal to President Lula and ruling party chief over media hostile move

President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva and Ricardo Berzoini, president of the Workers’ Party.

Dear Sirs,

Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the consequences of a resolution passed by the Workers’ Party (PT) national executive on 31 July encouraging party officials and supporters to oppose “the major offensive by the right and their media allies against the party and government.” Gleber Naine, the party’s communication chief, mentioned TV Globo and daily newspapers Correio Braziliense, O Estado de São Paulo, O Globo and A Folha de São Paulo as “playing the opposition’s game as never before.”

The resolution seems to us ill-conceived and untimely. The privately-owned media criticised President Lula and his government when he came to power but relations have since improved. The media outlets mentioned have also criticised opposition politicians for corruption, abuse of power and fraud.

Just before last October’s general elections, reports of PT members trying to buy forged documents to smear opposition candidates led to reprisals against the media by party activists. Other parties have also been involved in abusing and physically attacking the media. Partisanship cannot be an excuse for such behaviour.

The PT executive’s resolution follows wide media coverage of protests after the 17 July plane crash at Sao Paulo’s Congonhas airport and of the crowd’s jeering of President Lula when he opened the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro a few days before the crash. Is this the same as systematic criticism of the authorities? Should the media have not reported these events? Can it be blamed for the public discontent and anger caused by the crash?

Reporters Without Borders appeals for calm and hopes your wisdom will prevail. The party resolution is ominous, unworthy of a democratic party and can only make things worse. It should be dropped.


Robert Ménard

In this country
1 May - Brazil
Victory as federal supreme court repeals dictatorship era press law
12 December - Brazil
Four new arrests in investigation into abduction of O Dia employees
3 September - Brazil
Call for boost to media safety ahead of elections after journalist injured in Mato Grosso do Sul state
23 July - Brazil
Legislators urged to oppose cyber-crime bill likely to threaten online free expression
9 July - Brazil
A Folha de São Paulo and Veja win appeal against “premature electoral propaganda” fines

in the annual report
Brazil - Annual Report 2008
Brazil - Annual report 2007
Brazil - Annual report 2006

14 March 2008 - Cuba
No surrender by independent journalists, five years on from “black spring”
5 June 2007 - Venezuela
Closure of Radio Caracas Televisión consolidates media hegemony
22 May 2007 - Colombia
Paramilitary "black eagles" poised to swoop down on press

Americas press releases
3 June - United States
President Obama urged to raise freedom of expression in his Cairo speech
29 May - Venezuela
Open letter to President Hugo Chavez to protest about official hounding of Globovisión
27 May - Mexico
Crime reporter abducted and killed in Durango state
20 May - Cuba
Anyone can browse the Internet... unless they are Cuban
15 May - Cuba
Journalist gets three-year jail sentence

Americas archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Sign the petitions
Miguel Galván Gutiérrez
Fabio Prieto Llorente
United States
Chauncey Bailey
A petition to Raúl Castro