The melancholic end of Estadão

Image: Luis Quintero
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By JULIAN RODRIGUES*

Bad news: the almost sesquicentennial daily newspaper in São Paulo (and the best Brazilian newspaper) is rapidly declining

1.

My occasional, regular or new readers: we are now witnessing, in real time, yet another sad sign of the inexorable apocalypse. The end of the world seems to be getting closer every day. Our Estadão, the best and most traditional Brazilian newspaper will soon disappear. Its printed version, once robust and exuberant, became a shy, squalid rag.

Calm. Don't cancel me. Explain myself. We, half intellectuals, half progressives, are used to reading Folha de S. Paul. After all, the Frias family newspaper supported “Diretas Já” and “Fora Collor”.

More modern, more plural, easier to read, the Folha de S. Paul had the merit of publishing the most relevant Brazilian writers and intellectuals of recent decades. Florestan Fernandes, Carlos Heitor Cony, Otto Lara Resende, Antônio Callado, Jânio de Freitas, José Serra, Luis Nassif, Marcelo Coelho, Clóvis Rossi, Paulo Francis, Contardo Calligaris, Nelson de Sá, Maria da Conceição Tavares, Delfim Netto, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Gerald Thomas et caterva passed by the Frias newspaper.

The pernostic Otavinho made history by commanding, since the mid-1980s, the bold “Folha project” that forever changed the face of print media here. I promise to write about Folha de S. Paul on another opportunity.

It took me a long time to understand why the Estadão is, or was, much better than the Sheet. Folha de S. Paul, after all, apparently it's cooler, more colorful, easier to read, more modern.

O Estadão It was always grim, heavy, bad to read. Proud to smell like mold, jealous of his giant texts and Parnassian editorials. It turns out that the Estadão and sincere. Transparent, he never hid his class commitments. He never bullied anyone.

A Folha de S. Paul is cynical, wannabe, opportunistic, nihilistic, hypocritical and is proud to be bad. He fooled unsuspecting leftists for years on end. Estadão It's content. Sheet it is form and pretension. Estadão is coherence, Sheet It's opportunism. It would be counterintuitive for some to say this. Nowadays it's kind of obvious and self-evident, I think.

2.

It had a profound impact on me to have the edition of the Estadão of June 14th of the year of grace two thousand and twenty-four. Yes! There are still a few exotic people who not only prefer to read anything on paper, but also insist on buying printed newspapers from the (soon to be extinct) street newsagents.

Nines apart from the tearful complaints typical of old and snotty people (in fact, those who still know the multiplication tables, the real test and the test of nines), I declare to you. And this is pure science, I promise. Reading on paper and reading a printed newspaper is qualitatively superior to reading on a cell phone. Doubt? Ask the Brazilian, PT member and greatest scientist in the world, the Palmeiras native — no one is perfect — the friendly and committed neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis.

Without going into the debate about technological changes, business models, profit rates, modernization of media, etc. And so on, I just wanted to briefly register a warning. A shout. A groan. A cry. A tear.

Read printed books and newspapers. Get off the screens. Do math in your head. Write on paper. Re-learn spelling, syntax, geography. Memorize dates, maps, formulas. Forget everything they told you in the last 30 years. It’s not about artificially “decorating” things. It's about knowing. Memorize everything again.

The end of the Estadão nIt's not something progressive. Quite the opposite. Believe me. There is nothing encouraging about this news.

I end with an old rexitegui, I know: #judgemme.

* Julian Rodrigues, journalist and teacher, he is an LGBTI and Human Rights activist. Political training coordinator at the Perseu Abramo Foundation.


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