Immerse Yourself in The History of Folha in 100 Remarkable Facts about the Newspaper

From 1921 to 2021, learn about events that influenced the direction of the publication



1) Folha da Noite circulates for the first time on the 19th. Launched by Olívio Olavo de Olival Costa and Pedro Cunha, the newspaper's headquarters are in Antônio Prado square, between São Bento and João Brícola streets, in a room loaned by O Estado de S. Paulo, which was also responsible for printing the edition.

Cover of the first edition of Folha da Noite, published on February 19, 1921


2) The newspaper often receives criticism from authorities who attempt to persecute the media outlet. An example of this is when President Arthur Bernardes bans the circulation of Folha da Noite, which had referred to his government as “a period of darkness”.


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The Folha newspaper group launches Folha da Manhã. That same year, Folha reveals a cartoon character that represents the demands of the São Paulo middle class—Juca Pato. Created by the cartoonist Belmonte, Juca Pato is a bald, thin man of medium height who wears glasses.

Belmonte Cartoons

22.may.1934 - Getúlio makes his offerings to the god Povo, who, suspiciously, claims that the "jewels" are nothing more than costume jewelry from a famous store of the time, Casa Sloper


The defense of São Paulo's interests is one of the principles that guide Folha da Noite. When the crash of the New York Stock Exchange triggers a serious economic crisis, this is reflected in texts in support of the federal government, at the time led by Washington Luís.


Admirers of Getúlio Vargas attack the company because they are uncomfortable with its criticism of the president. The newspaper stops circulating for two months.


Farmer and trader Octaviano Alves de Lima buys the newspaper group. He sees the newspapers as more than just a media business opportunity: they would become a way to favor his coffee business


7) On September 7, Folha da Noite publishes comic strips for the first time. The pioneering character is the sailor Popeye, created by the American cartoonist A.C. Segar. Folha da Noite becomes the exclusive publisher in Brazil.


With the establishment of the Estado Novo [New State] dictatorship, the Vargas government begins to control the press through censorship, economic blackmail and political pressure, which limits the political news published in Folha until the 1940s.


Folha Informação launches. Through the telephone service, anyone can obtain updated news on any subject directly from a team of journalists. It works uninterrupted until 1992.


10) Folha da Noite improves its work during the Second World War. It is the first São Paulo newspaper to report the Allied invasion of Nazi Europe (known as D-Day), thanks to an extra edition produced in the early hours.



11) The portrayal of Hitler and Mussolini in Belmonte's cartoons reap international repercussions. Joseph Goebbels, the German Nazi Propaganda Minister, even complains about the cartoons.


12) The company is sold again. Alcides Ribeiro Meirelles, Clóvis Queiroga and José Nabantino Ramos take control.


13) A love affair between two great names in Brazilian culture wins over the pages of the newspaper. Jorge Amado declares his love for Zélia Gattai in his column in Folha da Manhã.

Architect Oscar Niemeyer (l) with the couple Zélia Gattai and Jorge Amado at the mass for the commemoration of the 28th anniversary of Brasília, in the cathedral in Brasília, in 1988


14) The section No Mundo da Ciência is launched, and written by José Reis. The structure of materials, the operation of the microscope, the life of microorganisms and the dangers of pollution are some of the topics addressed in this section (launched as a notebook in 2000).

15) The company launches the “Programa de Ação das Folha”. This program helps to professionalize the newsroom. With this the newspaper breaks political party connections, institutes performance awards, creates hiring tests, implements internal evaluations, starts managing corrections and holds monthly meetings to discuss goals and problems.



16) Another publication of the group is launched: Folha da Tarde, an easy to read, modern, local newspaper.


17) All departments meet at the address they are at today: between Rua Barão de Campinas and Avenida Barão de Limeira. Before that, the newspaper also occupied buildings on São Bento, Boa Vista, do Carmo streets (now called Roberto Simonsen) and on the Cleveland Mall.


18) In so-called civic campaigns, reporters and photographers start traveling the cities in jeeps, looking for major problems to cover. This campaign, published in Folha's three newspapers, strengthens the Folha brand because of its association with the country's greatest causes.


19) Folha Ilustrada is launched and targets women with light news instead of the cultural journalism that it is known for today. The lives of movie stars, parenting, weddings and book reviews dominate the supplement.


20) Folha da Manhã prints a cartoon story about the dog Bidu for the first time. It is the beginning of Mauricio de Sousa's long standing and successful career in comics.

Some of the first comic strips about Bidu, a character by Mauricio de Sousa - Reproduction


21) The names of Folha da Manhã, Folha da Tarde and Folha da Noite are unified under Folha de S.Paulo. The three daily editions circulate until 1962. The slogan "A newspaper at the service of Brazil" is launched during this time, in 1961.



22) A serious financial crisis hits the group. Journalists from São Paulo, including those from Folha, go on strike —from which they emerged victorious—for salary adjustments and labor rights. At the same time, President Jânio Quadros cuts the subsidies that made the news print cheaper.


23) With mounting debts, the newspaper is again sold to Octavio Frias de Oliveira, Carlos Caldeira Filho and Caio de Alcântara Machado - this one would go out of business months later.


24) Journalist Lenita Miranda de Figueiredo creates Folhinha, a children's section whose graphics were created by Mauricio de Sousa.


25) Folha supports the military coup, convinced that Congress would elect a new president within the constitutional term. The military, however, established a dictatorship that lasted until 1985. In 2014, 50 years later, the newspaper publishes an editorial that recognizes the error.


26) The group acquires other outlets, such as the newspapers Última Hora (published until 1979) and Notícias Populares (which circulated until 2001).


27) In January, the Tourism section begins to circulate as an independent weekly supplement. It was launched as a section within Ilustrada in 1959.


28) Folha da Tarde is relaunched to court students and to compete with the Jornal da Tarde, launched in 1965 by O Estado de S. Paulo. It was published until 1999.



29) The newspaper publishes for the first time an entire edition in offset, technology that allowed more images to be printed and with greater clarity than the competitors.


30) In the same year that AI-5 would be enacted, Folha publishes allegations of torture. As the target of censorship, the newspaper now includes mock exams for the college entrance exam in order to get closer to the students. In the future, the initiative evolves towards the creation of the Education department, the first dedicated to this topic in the country.


31) Members of the National Liberation Action (ALN), set Folha delivery trucks on fire. According to one of the group members quoted in the book “Folha Explica Folha,” ALN was convinced that the newspaper supported the dictatorship. Leftist militants said they had seen Folha's vehicles at DOI-Codi, the center of the repressive system in SP. According to Otavio Frias Filho, who took over as editorial director in 1984, “Folha has always stated that, if this happened with its vehicles, it was episodic and without the knowledge or authorization of its management.”


32) In June, an editorial says that there are no left-wing men in prison in the country “as a result of their thinking.” In a moment of internal crisis in the newspaper, Cláudio Abramo is removed from the journalistic leadership and the newspaper stops publishing editorials until 1976.


33) For the first time in Brazil, Folha prints, simultaneously with the national edition, a special newspaper with 16 colored pages, front and back.



34) A month before the official announcement, the newspaper reveals that the banker and businessman Olavo Setúbal was chosen by Governor Paulo Egydio Martins to become the mayor of São Paulo.


35) Angeli officially becomes a cartoonist for the newspaper. Together with Glauco and Laerte, who arrived later, they form the collective Los 3 Amigos, which made history in Folha's graphic humor.


36) The Tendências/Debates sections launch, with space for different opinions, and Painel do Leitor.



37) Folhetim emerges. Folhetim is an alternative cultural section that circulated on Sundays and was designed by journalist Tarso de Castro. Innovative, the supplement paved the way for other high-culture projects in the newspaper, such as Letras (created in 1989), Mais! (1992), Jornal de Resenhas (1995) and Ilustríssima (2010).


38) Columnist Lourenço Diaféria is arrested after a text criticizing the military. The next day, the space in his column goes blank as a form of protest, and the dictatorship threatens to close down Folha. Fearing the company's demise, Octavio Frias de Oliveira changes direction to avoid further turbulence. Boris Casoy takes over.


39) The Editorial Board is created with the aim of increasing diversity in opinions at the newspaper.


Folha intensely covered the birth of the labor union movement in ABC São Paulo. When the mobilizations of workers reached the press, there was a strike by journalists. Almost all Folha professionals stopped, but the newspaper did not stop circulating every day. The precarious edits were made by only 15 people.


41) Clóvis Rossi is hired by Folha. He became one of the most important names in the newspaper's history, working as a correspondent in Buenos Aires and Madrid and a special reporter, among other functions. He died in 2019, aged 76, after a heart attack.



42) In late April, the research department of Folha de S. Paulo conducted its first survey on the greatest fear of São Paulo residents. This represents the beginning of Datafolha. The institute's methodology was developed by Reginaldo Prandi — then a full professor at the Department of Sociology at USP and a researcher at the Center for Analysis and Planning (Cebrap).


43) Federal deputy Dante de Oliveira (PMDB) presents an amendment that restores direct elections. Days later, Folha publishes an editorial in which it supported the idea, but said that it would only be victorious if supported by public opinion. The newspaper's involvement with the campaign increases and it would come to be known as "the newspaper of the Diretas."


44) Reporting by Ricardo Kotscho on Serra Pelada shows the decrease in the gold rush and the situation of the approximately 80 thousand gold miners.



45) Journalist Otavio Frias Filho becomes editor of the newspaper at the age of 27.


46) The Folha Project is released, which proposes critical, pluralist, non-partisan and modern journalism that guides the company's practices to this day.


47) The first Writing Manual is adopted, which standardizes and guides the work of Folha's journalists.


48) Folha surpasses O Globo in the monthly average subscribers and becomes the largest newspaper in the country. The newspaper became the leader in annual readership in 1986 and has maintained so ever since.


49) Censored by Sarney, the film "Je Vous Salue, Marie", by Godard, is shown in Folha's auditorium.


50) Created by W/Brasil agency, from Washington Olivetto, the ad "Hitler" inserts Folha in the history of Brazilian advertising. The film lists the achievements of a political leader who, moments later, we discovered to be the dictator of Nazi Germany. “It is possible to tell a lot of lies by telling only the truth,” concludes the narrator. He was awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.

51) Janio de Freitas reveals the competition for the construction of the North-South railway. The result was published in Folha five days earlier, in encrypted form.


52) Folha launches the Training Program in order to familiarize reporters with the operation of the newspaper and create a repertoire of professionals capable of acting at the standards of modern journalism.


53) Folha is the first newspaper in Brazil to create the post of ombudsman. The Sunday column of Caio Túlio Costa opens, the first to perform the function.


Under the pretext of investigating alleged irregularity in the collection of advertisements, the Federal Police under Fernando Collor invades Folha in an attempt to intimidate the newspaper. The following day, the editorial “The Escalista Fascist” appears on the front page.



55) Folha becomes the first newspaper in Brazil to have a fixed space dedicated to correcting errors, an Erramos section.

56) At the age of 70, Folha launches a supplement dedicated to teenagers, Folhateen, in addition to a Sunday session on behind-the-scenes television and the Classifieds, Jobs and Real Estate sections.


56) In the section Dinheiro (currently Mercado), the results of the first Top of Mind survey, done by Datafolha, are published to reveal the brands most remembered by Brazilians, initially with 12 categories. The survey, carried out until today and published on all platforms of the newspaper, is the largest on brand recall in Brazil. The 30-year edition, held in 2020, featured 78 categories of products and services.


58) On March 21, 1994, Folha publishes for the first time in Latin America a fully digital photo, from the camera to the edition. This is the image of the player Viola celebrating Corinthians' winning goal 1-0 over Portuguesa.

SAO PAULO, SP, BRASIL.- Viola celebrating Corinthians' winning goal 1-0 over Portuguesa. (foto: Rubens Cavallari/Folhapress,ESPECIAIS - FOLHA 100 ANOS) - Folhapress



59) On the 12th, with the Atlas of World History inserted, Folha reached its record run: 1,613,872 copies.


60) Launch of FolhaWeb. The internet user had access to texts made on the same day by Agência Folha. There was news about science and computers, a column on the internet and access to the first Datafolha survey on racism in Brazil. In 1999, Folha Online went live, the first website with real-time coverage in Portuguese and an embryo of the current Folha website.


61) Tamboré graphic park begins to operate, in Santana do Parnaíba, in Greater São Paulo, considered the largest in Latin America.



62) The first page now features the three stars (red, blue and black), which have become the newspaper's symbol and which represent the group's old publications (Folha da Manhã, Folha da Tarde and Folha da Noite).


63) UOL (Universo Online) is born, in which Grupo Folha has a minority and indirect stake.



64) The Guia da Folha (current Guia da Folha) begins to circulate, which includes a schedule of cultural events in São Paulo, in pocket format.


65) Fernando Rodrigues' report denounces the vote buying scheme of representatives for the amendment of FHC's reelection.



66) Contract between CBF and Nike, discovered by Juca Kfouri, exposes the transfer of control over the company's team. According to the document, Nike would choose opponents of the team in 50 friendlies. The agreement would be subject to a CPI in the House, which would end without voting on the report.


67) Jornal Agora launches to succeed Folha da Tarde.


68) São Paulo Distribuição e Logística (SPDL), a partnership of the Folha and Estado groups, starts operating.


69) Sérgio Dávila and Juca Varella, the only Brazilian journalists in Baghdad, recount in a series the arrival of American troops in Iraq and the overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein.


70) Interview of the then PTB congressman, Roberto Jefferson, by Renata Lo Prete, then editor of the Painel, brings up a scheme to buy votes in the Housefor the approval of government projects that became known as Mensalão.



71) On the 29th, Octavio Frias de Oliveira, publisher of Grupo Folha, dies at the age of 94.


72) Elvira Lobato reveals a business empire built in 30 years by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, which, in 2014, inaugurated the Temple of Solomon, built at a cost of R$680 million.


73) The newsrooms of the printed newspaper and Folha Online are physically unified, maintaining independent management. In 2010, Folha Online is renamed and the leadership is unified. In 2012, the printed logo (Folha de S.Paulo) also goes online and ceases to exist.



74) Reporter Lilian Christofoletti reveals complains from former patients against Roger Abdelmassih for sexual abuse. He is initially sentenced to 278 years in prison, later reduced to 181 years.


75) In an editorial, the newspaper uses the term "ditabranda" to refer to the period of dictatorship in Brazil, a stance that is widely criticized. In a note, published 19 days later, the then editor-in-chief, Otavio Frias Filho, acknowledged the error, saying that all dictatorships are equally abominable, but reiterated that the military regime in Brazil had, in fact, been less truculent than others in Latin American countries.


76) An article on Dilma Rousseff's work in clandestine groups uses a police record without proven authenticity as a source.


77) Folha debuts its first version for mobile devices.



78) On its 90th birthday, the newspaper becomes the first of the mainstream Brazilian newspapers to digitize its entire collection and make it available to readers.

79) TV Folha is born, a channel reporting in the form of short documentaries.


80) becomes the first Brazilian newspaper to publish Spanish and English editions on the Internet.

81) F5, an entertainment and celebrity website, launches on the 31st.


82) Folha is the first Brazilian newspaper to implement the porous paywall, where access to the news is free up to a certain number of texts



83) Giuliana Vallone, a reporter for TV Folha, is hit in the eye during coverage of the protests in June 2013, which were marked by police brutality.


84) The documentary “June - The Month that Shook Brazil”, produced by TV Folha, won the Esso Award for Best Contribution to Telejournalism in 2013.


85) Estudio Folha launches. It's a business center, independent of the newsroom, for the production of sponsored content on different platforms.


86) Flávio Ferreira's reporting published in Folha reveals a connection between Odebrecht and the site used by Lula, in Atibaia. The case leads to the second conviction of the former president.


87) The Intelligence Center of Folha was created in July, publishing content created from large databases. In May 2019, it is renamed DeltaFolha.



88) The newspaper stops updating its Facebook page after the social network reduces the reach of journalistic content at the expense of personal interactions.


89) On the 21st, Otavio Frias Filho, managing director of Folhadurante for 34 years and editorial director of Grupo Folha, dies at the age of 61.

90) On the 29th, Maria Cristina Frias takes over as editor-in-chief. She remains in the position until March 18, 2019, when Sérgio Dávila, the current occupant, takes office.


91) On the eve of the election, Folha publishes an article by Patricia Campos Mello on mass message blasts on WhatsApp, sponsored by businessmen against the PT

92) On the 28th, Jair Bolsonaro is elected president. The following years are marked by insults and reprisals against Folha and other media outlets by him, his political group and his supporters.



93) Folha creates vehicle for the production of podcasts. In partnership with Spotify, it launches the daily news program Café da Manhã, which soon becomes one of the most listened to in the country.


94) Reporting by Ranier Bragon and Camila Mattoso reveals a scheme that used phantom political candidates from the PSL, at the time acronym of Bolsonaro, to circumvent gender quotas in the candidacies and supply other party campaigns with money from the party and electoral funds.


95) Lula, still in jail, speaks for the first time since he was arrested in April 2018. The conversation is with the Folha columnist Mônica Bergamo and with Florestan Fernandes Júnior, from El País.

96) Folha creates Diversity, a group that works with the newsroom to bring reflections on social diversity to reporting (with guidelines, approaches and sources) and to increase diversity among the newspaper's professionals.



97) Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Folha reaches 73.8 million unique visitors in the month, a record for the site. Journalists start working almost 100% in the home office mode and are able to maintain the level of coverage.


99) Luiz Frias torna-se publisher da Folha de S.Paulo.

98) Folha launches the campaign "#UseAmarelo pela Democracia," which includes a course on the period of the military dictatorship.

99) Luiz Frias becomes publisher of Folha de S.Paulo.


100) On February 19, 2021, Folha joined the select group of centennial newspapers.