Central do Brasil

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By DANIEL BRAZIL*

TVT's new daily newspaper is becoming a reference in Brazilian audiovisual communication

The mass media have become the great ideological battleground of the XNUMXst century. Radio and TV had already anticipated this scenario in the last decades of the previous century, but the exponential growth of the internet put more fuel on the fire, with disastrous results.

Driven anonymously, decentralized and often irresponsibly, the internet has become the ideal vehicle for spreading lies, rumours, frivolous versions and out-of-context speeches. The big vehicles felt the blow, on a worldwide scale. The circulation of newspapers and magazines dropped, advertising revenues decreased, investments were made in portals and virtual news, and today there is practically no newspaper, radio or TV station that does not use the internet as a support, source, archive or auxiliary vehicle.

Brazil missed the great chance to modernize its communications with the shelving of proposals collected at regional and national conferences held in 2009, at the National Communication Conference, CONFECOM. The government backed down in the face of pressure from the big media companies, barley under the regulatory framework of 1962, which was outdated and elitist. Distant from the social representation of European public TVs and radios, and even far from North American liberal democracy, which prevents cross-ownership of the media (whoever owns a newspaper cannot own a TV, and vice versa), family clans continue to dominate vehicles in the country, in increasingly contaminated ties with politicians from local, regional and national oligarchies.

There have been many attempts to create alternative, popular or erudite vehicles. There are bright moments, irremediably accompanied by melancholy endings. The brave newspapers of resistance to the dictatorship, the culture magazines, the innovative musical programs, were becoming scarce, succumbing to the media vulgarity commanded by big capital.

When the PT came to power, creating an unprecedented correlation of forces in the country, it was expected that vehicles committed to new values ​​would be created, in the printed media, on the radio, on TV. Not from the top down, but as a result of legitimate demand from historically excluded sections of the population. Unfortunately, successful experiences were few.

TV Brasil never managed to establish itself as an “independent state body”, in the manner of a BBC or RTF. The PT government thought that pouring lots of money into TVs, radios and private newspapers would get support, or at least space in the programming. This pragmatic policy came up short, as the popular saying goes. Raise crows, and they will pluck your eyes out, runs a very appropriate Spanish saying.

The most consistent experience of alternative TV was through unions, TVT – TV dos Trabalhadores. Without state resources or private advertisers, it survived the fall of the PT government, and maintains programming that is out of tune with the submissive sameness of free-to-air TV channels. Human rights, political activism, union struggles, periphery culture, debate of ideas, dialogue with academia and social movements are hallmarks of its trajectory.

Under pressure, economically strangled and working with a minimal team, TVT launched a new newscast in June 2020, in partnership with Rede Brasil Atual, Brasil de Fato and the Brasil Popular and Povo sem Medo fronts. Called Central do Brasil, the new newspaper intends to “give voice to popular movements and analyze the main themes of the Brazilian situation”, as its director, Igor Felippe, says.

Analysis news? Here's a novelty on Brazilian TV. Of course, there have been other programs with a similar proposal, but not from Monday to Friday, in prime time (20 pm). Released in a highly unfavorable context, politically and pandemiologically speaking, Central do Brasil premiered on June 15, 2020, opening with a tribute to the homonymous film and a statement by filmmaker Walter Salles. He gave voice to app delivery people (before the strike that broke the blockade of the old media), interviewed Father Julio Lancelotti and representatives of other religions, including Afro-Brazilian ones, and spoke about Covid-19 with former minister Arthur Chioro. Good start.

From then on, with the limitations imposed by the circumstances, which transform the reports into interviews via webconference in Franciscan scenarios, the program consciously and clearly addresses relevant issues, giving voice to indigenous, community, union and popular leaders. It also summons political analysts, sociologists, artists and thinkers generally excluded from traditional TVs, linked to academia or social movements.

Seeking unusual inspiration from the Legality Network of the 60s, the television news is clearly positioned on the left, assuming a critical position against the prevailing fascism. Even facing economic, formal and aesthetic limitations, Central do Brasil is already a reference in Brazilian audiovisual communication. May it have a long life, and may its contribution to the re-establishment of full democracy come true.

The program can be seen daily on TVT, and on social networks such as Youtube. Gaps that the new communication system imposed by the Internet allows for the dissonant voices of the status quo Reinforcing initiatives like this is maintaining hope in democracy, respect for diversity and the fight against all forms of authoritarianism.

* Daniel Brazil is a writer, author of the novel suit of kings (Penalux), screenwriter and TV director, music and literary critic.

 

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