Folha Internacional Celebrates 10 Years Trying to Explain Brazil to Foreigners

Folha Internacional is a news service about Brazil that, aiming to attract a foreign audience to its journalism, expanded its coverage to English and Spanish

If for Brazilians, sometimes, understanding the unpredictable current situation in the country can be exhausting, imagine for those who are abroad and trying to keep up with the ups and downs of our national politics. Unless they are Folha readers.

That's because ten years ago Folha de S.Paulo launched Folha Internacional. A news service about Brazil that, aiming to attract a foreign audience to its journalism, expanded its coverage to English and Spanish.

Thanks to a meticulous and daily curatorship of information, non-Lusophone readers are kept up to date with the most relevant events taking place in the country in the areas of economics, politics, science, culture, and sports.

"The mission of a newspaper like Folha is to take its quality content also to foreign readers, wherever they may be, through news written in two of the most commonly spoken languages in the world," says Folha's editorial director, Sérgio Dávila.

Attorney Esther Fernández began visiting the homepage of the Spanish version of Folha Internacional, on the recommendation of a friend, after considering a job offer in São Paulo. “Reading about events in Spanish is a good way to understand what I'm going to deal with when I arrive in Brazil,” she stated. She says that what most catches her attention is the pace of events. "Everything changes very fast, so in order to not get totally lost I need to keep myself up to date," says Esther.

Pleased with the curating of news, the subscriber to the English version, and language teacher, Marlene Andreetto highlights the informative richness of the brief texts she receives daily.

Over the last 10 years, the articles published that have had the most readers were: the first report on the accusations against João de Deus for sexual abuse, in the English version, and the article on the new immigration rules for foreigners in Brazil, in Spanish.

The periods that concentrate the highest number of visits correspond to the 2014 World Cup period, LavaJato's anti-corruption operation, in late 2016, the 2018 election dispute, and, of course, the pandemic.

The interesting thing about the international service is that even with the predominance of Spanish speakers in neighboring countries, Folha's English texts yield, on average, twice as many visits as those in Spanish. In the English version, 40% of the readers are in Brazil. Then the list goes on to include countries like the USA (28%), United Kingdom (6.6%), New Zealand (3.6%), and Canada (2.3%).

The Hispanic-speaking readers, however, are quite varied and come mainly from Argentina (25%) and Peru (23%). Followed by Colombia (11%), Uruguay (11%), Spain (8.5%), Brazil (6.8%), Chile (3.2%), Paraguay (2.7%), Venezuela (1 .7%) and Bolivia (1%).

To have access to the content of Folha Internacional, readers can visit the Folha de S.Paulo's homepage or subscribe to the newsletter containing the headlines of the day, which is sent from Monday to Friday to the emails of previously registered users.

Read Folha Internacional

Translated by Cassy Dias