Source: Reporters Without Borders –
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) regularly monitors relations between the Brazilian government and the media. Every three months, the organization publishes a report that looks at what stood out during the period, highlighting cases that illustrate key aspects of the right to press freedom in the country.
RSF monitors the discourse of senior government officials with a view to producing quantitative data on the government’s attitude to the press.
We consider President Jair Bolsonaro’s Twitter and Facebook accounts to be worthy of analysis, on the understanding that the president’s statutory online accounts are a privileged channel of communication with society and the press. His weekly videos streamed live on social media every Thursday, and public appearances including press conferences and interviews, usually reported by the media and by the presidential press office, were also analyzed.
Another object of analysis was the Twitter accounts of some officials and institutions that are part of the government leadership, such as the Special Secretariat for Social Communication (Secom), Vice-President Hamilton Mourão and the following government ministers: Fábio Faria (Min.Comunicações); Milton Ribeiro (Min. Educação); André Mendonça (Min. Justiça); Ricardo Salles (Min. Meio Ambiente); Paulo Guedes (Min. Economia); Augusto Heleno (Chefe Gabinete de Segurança Institucional); Onyx Lorenzoni (Min. Cidadania); Ernesto Araújo (Min. Relações Exteriores), Damares Alves (Min. Mulher, Família e Direitos Humanos) and Teresa Cristina (Min. Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento) .
The Twitter accounts of Jair Bolsonaro’s sons Eduardo, Carlos and Flávio were also monitored.
Bearing in mind the Brazilian government’s requirement to prevent crimes against people exercising their right to freedom of thought and expression, this includes:
- Strongly condemning attacks on journalists and other communicators and encouraging authorities to act diligently and speedily in investigating the facts and punishing those responsible.
- Not making public statements that expose journalists and other communicators to the risk of violence or increase their vulnerability.
- Constantly, explicitly and publicly acknowledging the legitimacy and value of journalism and communication, even when the information disclosed may be critical of or inconvenient for government interests.