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50 Million Live in a 'Desert' of Local Radio and TV in Brazil

07/04/2018 - 12h03

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NELSON DE SÁ
SÃO PAULO

For 50 million Brazilians, having a radio or TV at home does not mean having access to local content.

A survey conducted by Atlas da Notícia shows that 25% of the country's population lives in cities which do not have local broadcasting stations.

Best case scenario, they have broadcast relay stations for the content of national or regional networks. The result is similar to what Atlas' survey found in November, which indicated there is a "desert" of printed newspapers and websites for 70 million people.

Atlas da Notícia is a study conducted by Projor (Institute for the Development of Journalism) jointly with data journalism agency Volt Data Lab.

The study was inspired by the American "news deserts" project from Columbia Journalism Review, connected to Columbia University.

Foto: Adriano Vizoni/Folhapress, ESPECIAIS
São Gabriel da Cachoeira, in Amazonas State
São Gabriel da Cachoeira, in Amazonas State

According to Angela Pimenta, president of Projor, "the smaller the city, the greater the chances there is no journalism there, and of course this is unsettling."

The study has crossed data obtained through crowdsourcing with records from the Ministry of Communications.

An expanded and reviewed edition of the Atlas, for newspapers and websites, radio and television, is scheduled for the end of this year.

A series of news articles are also being prepared for a qualitative study of the five Brazilian regions.

The project, supported by Facebook, hired journalist Elvira Lobato - she covered the sector up to 2011 at Folha, where she worked for 27 years.

She will visit cities such as Mariana, in the state of Minas Gerais, and Arapiraca and Palmeiras dos Índios, in the state of Alagoas, to study their newspapers, websites and broadcasters.

Translated by ANA BEATRIZ DEMARIA

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