President-elect Jair Bolsonaro's series of verbal attacks against Folha de S. Paulo had an unexpected side effect: an informal online campaign among social media users encouraging each other to subscribe to this newspaper.
On Monday (29th), during his first interview as president-elect to a major national news broadcast, Bolsonaro again criticized Folha: "On its own, this newspaper is over."
Civil servant Delmir Andrade, 32, is among the people who decided to subscribe to Folha after Bolsonaro's remarks. "This morning, right after I got up, I reactivated my Folha de S. Paulo subscription. Its role in defending freedom of speech and the democratic values in the election was worthy of respect and praise. There is no free journalism of quality. We need to appreciate their work."
Entrepreneur Marina Braga, 28, never subscribed before. She started now, she said, to "challenge this new administration's oppression. I believe in freedom of the press, although I think we have a long way to go in that area."
On social media, there are multiple accounts like Henrique Costa's on Twitter: "I signed up for Folha's digital subscription this week, for the first time. I canceled Netflix to do so, given the moment's significance."
The subscription push began on October 18th, when the newspaper reported that businesspeople boosted WhatsApp blasts against PT.
Professional journalist associations and human rights organizations declared their disavowal towards Bolsonaro's remarks against Folha during Monday's TV interview.
"Government advertisement spending, like any other federal expenditure, should always follow technical needs, not political or partisan leanings," said Marcelo Rech, president of Brazil's National Newspaper Association (ANJ).
For the Brazilian Bar Association national president, Claudio Lamachia, "the freedom of the press is warranted by the Constitution, so society has ensured its right to qualified, analytical and exempt information," he said.
Translated by NATASHA MADOV