The construction of news

Tim Mara, The Stage and Television Today, 1975


The news informs, but also constructs an interpretation that justifies the conventions of domination and subordination

Fallacies reiterated in the news forged anti-PTism and anti-Lulism. The Workers' Party and Lula are the stepping stone in the path of the “new reason of the world”, in the perspective of the free market and the mechanisms of societal exclusion. The news is legitimized with the impartiality of the signifiers (tangible facts), but adds a (subjective) meaning to those to reinforce a certain political-ideological cosmovision.

In the case of the other parties, particular errors were never related to the qualification of “criminal organization”, as in the fanciful Lava Jato PowerPoint, updated by the PSDB candidate in the defeat to Dilma Rousseff, in the 2014 election, in which he questioned the result of the polls electronics. fell to playboy start the telenovela, which continued with the bad boy. The blame reappeared in response to the fourth consecutive election of the left to the Presidency of the Republic, since 2002, with the project of a State of Social Welfare.

It was a record of the dissatisfaction of the “elites” who see the country as a trading post, to meet the ambitions of foreign powers. By praying for another booklet, in search of the ideals of an authentic nation, it is said that the PT planted anti-PTism and, Lula, watered anti-Lulism. The Brazilian bourgeoisie, with the habitus of practices that reek of slavery and authoritarianism, defends the framework of inequalities that come from the colonial to the neoliberal period. It has no commitments to the people. Hence the lawfare against progressives fighting for change.


User manual

Alain de Botton, in News: user manual (Intrinsic), makes a phenomenology of the news, which “know how to make its mechanics almost invisible and, therefore, difficult to question”. They not only inform, but also construct an interpretation that justifies the domination/subordination conventions. With the hegemony of rationalism and science, religion lost its monopoly on the conscience of individuals. With the primacy of news, disenchantment penetrated the minds and hearts of everyone. Everything became rational accounting, within reach of syllogisms without the shackles of the deities, made immanences freed from transcendences, by the grammar of modernity. “Once formal education is concluded, the news is what starts to teach us”.

New technological resources are incorporated by communication/information mega-corporations. Despite the crisis of traditional mediatization contributions, visible in the loss of audience of the National Journal with the advent of virtual networks, news still plays an important role in mass perception. They act as organizing principles, like demiurges of market society. For Hegel, they signal the modernization of urban centers, in the passage that gave villages the status of cities in development. Films capture the phenomenon with images, by showing the TV on in the morning with information on the weather, traffic and events of the day. No ruler fails to watch. After all, it is what guides parliamentary debates in the Legislative, stirs up the Public Prosecutor's Office and scores the Executive's assessment, up or down.

The list of news, which paints the outside landscape with frightening colors by announcing cyclones, robberies, landslides on hillsides, tragedies, lost and found bullets among innocent people – by contrast, awakens the feeling of security in the domestic environment. Indifference and apathy prevails, pushing fear out of “home, sweet home”, even though the home is often the scene of feminicides and violence against children. Alienation is the privatization of existence, so it is stimulated indirectly. Soap operas never bring characters with social or political militancy and republican concerns, beyond the navel. The “engagement” to change the world, valued in theory and practice by Jean-Paul Sartre, is always exposed with distrust.

The word “militant” appears pejoratively in articles that describe popular mobilizations in the streets. Green-and-yellow middle-class agglomerations against the Federal Supreme Court (STF), however, are cute snapshots of civility from “good citizens”. Strictly speaking, these are zombie factories. Totalitarian bubbles and fanaticized by anti-democratic intolerance, driven by a broken simulacrum of active participation in the affairs of the city, region and country. In everyday life, boosted by television programs of armed police against residents of the periphery, drug dealers or not. There are plenty of communicators to explore the human misery reproduced on screen.

With live transmission, the Special Operations Battalion (BOPE/RJ) is the calling card of the entrepreneurship of terror, which first kills and then asks, with the emblematic symbol of the skull of the SS (Schutzstaffel / Protection Squadrons), by Hitler. This communicational metaphor in action is equivalent to the organization of real society, with the supremacy of duly protected men – white, property owners, heterosexuals, misogynists and addicted to bosses. The perversity is that Bope trains blacks/browns for sociopolitical eugenics, while militias eliminate the brave voices of civilization in the face of the barbarism of capital, in a metropolis or in the forest. One scandal covers another, without holding authors and mentors accountable.


corporate media

The media staging strategy does not consist of censorship. It involves “an effort to confuse, bore, and distract the majority from political life by presenting events in such a disorganized, fragmentary, and intermittent manner that the people are unable to fix their attention on the unfolding of the most important issues.” Of course, the goal is to throw sand in the eyes of the spectators. In the wake of the old pop warrior, Chacrinha, prevents hierarchization on the relevance of themes. With the expedient, it deactivates the contestation potential of the news. If hierarchical norms of information were obeyed, instead of transgressed, they would contribute to a better coexistence and the elevation of the nation's historical self-awareness. For what the media should stop making the spectacle of democracy, to assume the safeguard of democracy.

Note what happened in the hearings of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, of the pandemic. The final report of the works implicated the government representative and the Minister of Health in corruption, according to the testimony of career officials. But the evidence was deconstructed by the denialist deputies and senators, given the fatigue with the coverage. The broadcasters that covered the CPI did not focus on the conclusions to assemble the different pieces of the mosaic, in a way that would be understandable for those who worked informally for hours at a time, standing up. The Attorney General's Office (PGR) pretended that it was not within its scope to meddle.

There was no Globo reporter, or something similar, to translate the notes and simplify the diversionary stratagems of power. Bribes became narratives. The government quibbled that “the circus came to nothing because there was no administrative impropriety in government actions”. It is not enough to report, you have to decode the meaning of the crimes that face the public treasury. Without this, the news is a facade for manipulation, not for clarifying anything. If nothing else was done, it was so as not to move the mill in favor of the adversaries of the establishment.

Economic news, on the other hand, is linked to the need for market information by banks, brokerage firms and trading houses. Not surprisingly, the transoceanic cables laid between the United States and the United Kingdom in the mid-19th century were jointly funded by financiers and news organizations (such as Reuters) to publicize demand for a certain commodity / commodity, whether it is increasing or decreasing in that part of the planet. Business.

Economic reporting is aimed at investors. It is understood that journalists in the area agree with the dollarization of fuels: “price controls would generate a boomerang effect over time, which is why it should not be practiced”. They repeat the cynical argument of investors, on automatic, as if the greed of half a dozen could override national interests. What was meant to be journalism becomes an instrument of finance propaganda. Regarding inflation, he advises “comparing the price of products in supermarkets”. The important thing is that the structures of the system do not become a generalized target of anti-capitalist criticism.


Something happens in Brazil

Alain de Botton never mentions the democratization of the means of communication. It ignores the cross-ownership of newspapers, radios, TVs, digital platforms, publishers, record labels, etc., which threatens the freedom of news consumers with the presence of large oligopolies. In Latin America, it is an unavoidable problem. It could not be otherwise: five families dominate public opinion in a continental territory. They dominate and, at crucial moments in history, manipulate to influence the destiny of the country, as in the edition of the debate on the eve of the second round of the 1989 elections, between the metallurgist from ABC São Paulo and the “hunter of maharajas”, from Alagoas. Or turning a blind eye to the continuous procedural and material illegalities that corrupted the Judiciary, with the collusion between the judge and the Curitiba prosecutors, in the fateful year of 2018.

Nor does Alain de Botton denounce the censorship of journalistic activity within companies, which leads professionals to lie to themselves by asserting that they are not subject to vetoes in the exercise of sharing/interpreting. criminal affairs they also go into the drawer among the Anglo-Saxons, in the northern hemisphere. The suggestions for “improvements”, which he makes in the last chapters of the book, are platitudes accompanied by the indication of “intelligent and viable theoretical approaches”. In the post-modern showcases for displaying objects of desire for consumption, the “viable” label is particularly underlined, in itself a restriction of a political-ideological nature to alternative approaches such as the solidarity economy, ecological fairs and offers that problematize the dictatorship of brands.

The reflection of the Swiss writer portrays the gear of the news. It is competent in what it proposes, however, insufficient. It needs to be complemented with the reading of Patrick Charaudeau, in Discourse of the media (Context), which has the merit of analyzing: (a) the economic dimension that makes communication organizations act like companies and (b) the symbolic dimension that makes them participate in the construction of public opinion in public opinion, today, with the help of algorithms, etc. It follows in the footsteps of Pierre Bourdieu, “who made a dissection of televised information, to demonstrate the harmful effects of the media in telecratic globalization”.

Eventually, what is premeditated is unmasked in the air, like the interview called by the official authorities to talk about the murdered heroes of the Amazon, the indigenist Bruno Pereira and the British journalist Dom Phillips. At the extensive official table, which had representatives from the Navy, Army, Air Force, Federal Police and Funai, those primarily responsible for revealing the massacre were not present: precisely the indigenous people. The photograph was, involuntarily, proof of the terrible disregard for the original peoples by the Brazilian State.

News: user manual is a useful essay for young people preparing to work in the field of communications, in its thousand inflections. It composes the bibliography, instigates intellectual curiosity and thought. Nobody is obliged to imitate the dramatic posture of Henry David Thoreau, in Walden (1854), where the formulator of the notion of “civil disobedience” described life away from the hustle and bustle of big cities, living alone in a hut built with his own hands, in a forest. “Judging by someone who rarely glances at the newspapers, nothing new happens in foreign lands, not even a French Revolution.” Something happens in Brazil, yes, the campaign for the left wins in the first round, with a shower of neo-fascism.

* Luiz Marques is a professor of political science at UFRGS. He was Rio Grande do Sul's state secretary of culture in the Olívio Dutra government.


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