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After Media Reports, Funds Are Returned and Service Improves

04/12/2018 - 11h13

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FROM SÃO PAULO

Quality journalism has an impact. Poorly delivered public services are improved after investigations and articles by reporters. Diverted funds are returned after corruption schemes are uncovered. One person's life takes a new path after their story is published.

Impacto.Jor, a pioneering project in the world, attempts to measure the impact of the work of journalism on society.

It is coordinated by journalist and researcher Pedro Burgos and financed by the Google News Lab.

In its first year of operation, three media vehicles in addition to Folha participated: the magazine Veja, the State of Parana newspaper Gazeta do Povo, the magazine Nova Escola and the website Nexo.

In 2018, new media participants are expected to join and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in Washington will provide additional financing.

The objective is to track what happens after the publication of an article, in order to evaluate Text Editing's journalistic production using another parameter beyond audience numbers, accesses and circulation.

Throughout 2017, Folha recorded 75 instances of concrete, relevant repercussions from information that was published by the vehicle.

See some of these results below:

PUBLIC COFFERS AND PROPERTY

  • After a report about the cost of daily meal expenses, the São Paulo City Council announced that the R$ 769 thousand (US$ 228 thousand) set aside to pay for daily meals for the City Councilmen in the following 12 months would be reduced to only 10% of this amount, R$ 77 thousand (US$ 23 thousand).
  • The Banco do Brasil (Bank of Brazil) decided to suspend, then canceled, a public bid valued at up to R$ 2.5 billion (US$ 742 million) for advertising services whose winner's name had been published in advance by Folha. The information was published in a disguised fashion in the classifieds section four days before the official announcement.
  • Less than a month after publishing an article about the degraded state of the 17th century tiles on the Ordem Terceira de São Francisco (San Francisco 3rd Order) Church in the historic center of the city of Salvador, the preservation body announced an emergency restoration project.

GENERAL FISCALIZATION OF THE SÃO PAULO CITY

  • After a report revealing that City Hall was maneuvering to get its request for authorization for the compulsory internment of drug users to land before a hardline judge, the Justice Tribunal (TJ) extinguished the case.
  • Event management company Lide, from João Doria's (Mayor of São Paulo) family, had just started raising money from business owners for the organization of a seminar with the Mayor himself when Folha published a report questioning conflict of interest and Doria decided to cancel the seminar.
  • On the same day that news was published that signs from the Mayor's Office of São Paulo were violating its own Clean City Law (Lei Cidade Limpa), they were removed.
  • The City's official Christmas tree, decorated with items barred by City Hall itself, was modified to comply with regulations.
  • On the same day that information that residents of the Vila Guilhermina (eastern zone) were painting over yellow lanes on a street with zig-zag patterns as a protest against potholes, the Mayor's Office ordered the repair and repaving of Diogo Botelho street.
  • The Municipal Auditing Court suspended a public bid from Doria's administration for the installation of LED panels along public thoroughfares.
  • On the same day that it was reported that São Paulo City Hall's Head of general fiscalization at Sé was an influential businessman in the urban cleaning business sector, Mayor João Doria had him removed.

HUMAN STORIES

  • After publication on the *Folha*'s site of a video showing a crack user pleading for help, he was recognized by his mother who went and rescued him from the streets of São Paulo.
  • After publishing the story of Valéria Gomes Ribeiro, who adopted a baby with Zika, Folha received phone calls from people asking to assist with expenses.
  • After a Folha report about Dekasegi children, the Director of Educational Affairs for the Japanese Foreign Ministry met with the Brazilian Ambassador to see what could be done to improve the lives of these children born to Brazilians.
  • A student who falsely used the quota set aside for black students to get accepted into UFMG's Medical School left the course after being denounced by Folha. The University, along with others, promised to revise its admissions procedures.
  • Two-time world Jiu-Jitsu Champion Caio Almeida, 33, read a Folha report about the story of William Medeiros, 30, a former fighter who had been a drug-addict for nearly three years. He recognized his former colleague and was able to help him get off of drugs. William subsequently went back to training, was reunited with his old girlfriend and got married.
  • In the week following a special edition showing the occurrence of nearly two physical aggressions against professors per day in São Paulo, the State Government announced a plan to double the number of mediators in schools.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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