Traditional Tension between Government and Folha Grows under Bolsonaro

For scholars, his attacks on the press have reached levels never seen in the country's recent history

Naief Haddad
São Paulo

Tension has always marked the relationship between Brazil's President and Folha. This is a malaise that comes with the game of democracy.

In line with its editorial mission, which provides for independence and non-partisanship, Folha maintains a critical stance towards the occupants of the Planalto Palace.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso (PSDB) and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT), for example, complained several times about newspaper reports.

President Jair Bolsonaro, on Facebook @jairmessias.bolsonaro)

President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL), however, has raised this tension to an alarming level, experts say.

According to them, the level of criticism directed at Folha and to the professional press in general and the Planalto's disregard for freedom of expression is the highest in the last three and a half decades.

A study of the National Federation of Journalists showed that the president criticizes journalists and journalism at least twice a week. The study measured January 1st to October 31st.

It was not the first, nor will it be the newspaper's last clash with central power. In 1930, for example, Folha questioned Getúlio Vargas, and the vehicle became the target of its supporters.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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