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On Models and Margins: Comparative Media Models Viewed from a Brazilian Perspective

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Comparing Media Systems Beyond the Western World offers a broad exploration of the conceptual foundations for comparative analysis of media and politics globally. It takes as its point of departure the widely used framework of Hallin and Mancini's Comparing Media Systems, exploring how the concepts and methods of their analysis do and do not prove useful when applied beyond the original focus of their 'most similar systems' design and the West European and North American cases it encompassed. It is intended both to use a wider range of cases to interrogate and clarify the conceptual framework of Comparing Media Systems and to propose new models, concepts and approaches that will be useful for dealing with non-Western media systems and with processes of political transition. Comparing Media Systems Beyond the Western World covers, among other cases, Brazil, China, Israel, Lebanon, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Thailand.
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5
On Models and Margins
Comparative Media Models Viewed
from a Brazilian Perspective
Afonso de Albuquerque
The publication of Hallin and Mancini’s book Comparing Media Systems
was a turning point for comparative media studies. Given the tremen-
dous impact of the book, the question soon arose whether it would be
possible to apply the categories proposed by Hallin and Mancini in a
broader, worldwide comparative effort. The authors themselves discuss
this possibility in their book. On the one hand, they recognize that the
consistency of the models they proposed is indebted in part to the fact
they have studied a relatively limited and homogeneous group of coun-
tries (2004a: 6). On the other hand, they show some optimism in this
regard, given that they believe that the models that exist in Western
Europe and North America tend to prevail also in the rest of the world.
In this chapter, I critically examine the categories proposed by the authors,
and this proposition in particular, with a focus on the Brazilian media
system.
In the first part of the chapter, I discuss the three-model system both
from a theoretical and a methodological point of view. Two main prob-
lems are of concern. The first refers to the very concept of “model” as
used by the authors. I argue that when they suggest that the Western
models “tend to be dominant globally” they are in fact using two very
different concepts of a model. When they apply the term to the Western
countries, they use it in the sense of “models from . . .” – that is, method-
ological entities that exist only as research tools. When they apply the
term “model” to non-Western countries, however, its status changes and
becomes a “model to . . .” – that is, normative parameters that are used in
the real world. The second problem refers to the way Hallin and Mancini
72
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On Models and Margins 73
define the Polarized Pluralist model and, in particular, their suggestion
that it would explain some traits of media systems in Eastern Europe
and the former Soviet Union, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, and
most Asian countries (Hallin and Mancini, 2004b: 36). Here, I suggest
that such a broad use of the concept risks converting it into a catch-
all concept that includes everything that does not fit into the other two
models.
In the second part of the chapter, I use the four sets of variables
proposed by Hallin and Mancini to explore some characteristics of the
Brazilian media system. Some authors (Azevedo, 2006; Hallin and Pap-
athanassopoulos, 2002) have pointed out that the Brazilian media system
has many traits in common with the Polarized Pluralist model. However,
the data collected indicate not only some similarities between them –
mainly in the structure of media markets – but also some noteworthy
differences: Brazilian broadcasting media have been almost entirely pri-
vately owned since their inception; political parallelism does not apply
easily to the Brazilian media, both because political parties do not play a
central role in presidential countries such as Brazil and because the lead-
ing media organizations have adopted a catch-all attitude regarding their
public; and Brazilian journalists have defined their professional identity
with reference to the American model, although they have reinterpreted
it a very particular way.
The categories created by Hallin and Mancini shed light on many
important aspects of the Brazilian media systems, but leave others in the
shadow. Thus, in the third part of this chapter I examine some problems
not discussed in depth in Comparing Media Systems and propose some
new categories to deal with them. The first problem relates to the dif-
ference between central and peripheral media systems. A media system
is peripheral to the extent that it defines itself with reference to foreign
models, and it is central to the extent that it can be used as a reference
for other systems. I believe this distinction is very important in a world-
wide comparative analysis. The second problem refers to the system of
government – presidential or parliamentary – as an important variable
for explaining some traits of the relationship between the media and the
political agents. Finally, I discuss the limitations of the concept of political
parallelism for analyzing the Brazilian political/media system and propose
to replace it with a schema that articulates two variables: the strength of
political parties and the degree of engagement of the media in political
activity.
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74 Afonso de Albuquerque
Models from . . . and Models to . . .
When applied to the original scope of analysis of Comparing Media
Systems, the use of the term “model” does not look problematic. The
models elaborated by Hallin and Mancini are ideal types, that is, con-
ceptual devices designed to describe the relationship between media and
politics in a group of eighteen countries of Western Europe and North
America. In the book, they present three models of media systems. The
Democratic Corporatist model is described as having an early and solid
development of a mass press, strong professional associations and a
well-established professional culture in journalism, a tradition of state
intervention in defense of the ideological plurality of the media, and
a public service model of broadcasting. The Polarized Pluralist model
has a low-circulation press that is directed mainly to a small elite, a
weak professional culture in journalism, a high degree of political paral-
lelism between the political system and the media system, and patterns
of instrumentalization of the media by political and economical interests.
Liberal model media systems have a high-circulation mass press, although
not as high as the Democratic Corporatist ones; information-oriented
journalism with internal pluralism; strong professionalism, although
without institutionalized self-regulation; and a market-dominated
media.
The Liberal model is dominant in the Anglophone countries on
both sides of the Atlantic (United Kingdom, Ireland, United States, and
Canada); the Democratic Corporatist model is found in North and Cen-
tral Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Swe-
den, Norway, Denmark, and Finland); and the Polarized Pluralist model is
dominant in Southern Europe (France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece).
However, the authors say that those countries must not to be taken as
pure examples of the three models. For example, the United Kingdom
mixes features from the Liberal and the Democratic Corporatist mod-
els, and France combines some characteristics from both the Polarized
Pluralist and Democratic Corporatist models. Yet the media systems of
individual countries are not homogeneous: For example, media systems
in Catalonia and Quebec are different in many ways from the media in
the rest of Spain or Canada, respectively. Thus, the media system models
proposed by Hallin and Mancini must to be understood as simplifica-
tions made from empirical data, which are useful mainly for analytical
purposes. That is the central reason why I propose to refer to them as
“models from. . . .”
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On Models and Margins 75
However, when Hallin and Mancini write that “the models that prevail
in Western Europe and North America tend to be dominant globally”
(2004a: 6), they make a subtly different use of the term “model.” In
that context the term “model” has a normative meaning, rather than a
descriptive or analytical one. In this sense, models are standards by which
social agents usually guide their behavior in concrete circumstances. They
exist and have an effect in the real world, notwithstanding their abstract
character. I call this type “models to. . . .” The three models proposed by
Hallin and Mancini are “models from . . .” when applied to the countries
represented in the original scope of their study; however, for the rest of
the countries of the world they are not equally “models to. . . .”
Since the 1980s Liberal model values (such as the association between
press freedom and market freedom) and practices (such as the commer-
cialization of the media) have spread around the world, as a consequence
of the process of economic globalization and in connection with the com-
mercialization of the media in many countries. This process has been
often described as an Americanization of the media of such countries
(see, among others, Hallin and Mancini, 2004b; Negrine and Papathanas-
sopoulos, 1996; Swanson and Mancini, 1996). In contrast, the empha-
sis that the Democratic Corporatist model puts on the conception of a
“common good” and the equilibrium between media autonomy and state
intervention has nourished a discourse of resistance against the hegemony
of the Liberal model. The same does not apply to the Polarized Pluralist
model. Notwithstanding the influence that the media and political cul-
ture of some Southern European countries (mainly France, but also Spain
and Portugal) have exerted abroad (especially in the Latin American coun-
tries), it would not be appropriate to discuss the Polarized Pluralist model
per se as the source of such influence. After all, according to the authors,
one of the chief traits of the Polarized Pluralist model is the absence of
consensual values among media and political actors (see also Chalaby,
1996). Thus, how could the absence of unifying values exert some kind
of normative role?
In a way, the Polarized Pluralist model is defined in a negative man-
ner relative to the Liberal and the Democratic Corporatist models. The
prevalence of such a model would be a result of the absence of the circum-
stances that rendered possible the development of the other two (e.g., a
solid mass press, significant autonomy of media from the state and polit-
ical parties, and a tradition of professionalism among the journalists). At
the same time, Hallin and Mancini suggest that the Polarized Pluralist
model may have an almost universal use in the analysis of non-Western
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76 Afonso de Albuquerque
countries. What does this suggestion mean? Should the Polarized Pluralist
model be taken as merely a negative version of the other two models, a
kind of less developed countries’ model? Or, alternatively, would it be
possible to identify traits in common between the media systems of the
Mediterranean countries they analyzed and the non-Western countries?
In an article published before Comparing Media Systems, Hallin and
Papathanassopoulos (2002) made a comparative analysis between the
four Southern European countries analyzed in the later book and the
media systems of three Latin American countries: Brazil, Colombia, and
Mexico. The authors focused their analysis on five characteristics: (1)low
levels of newspaper circulation, (2) tradition of advocacy reporting, (3)
instrumentalization of privately owned media, (4) politicization of public
broadcasting and broadcast regulation, and (5) limited development of
journalism as an autonomous profession. They conclude that the same
characteristics that distinguished media in the Southern European coun-
tries from those in the rest of the European Union were present “usually
in more extreme forms” in the three Latin American countries’ media sys-
tems (2002:175). The authors maintain that the concept of clientelism
can be very useful in explaining the traits shared by the seven countries
they analyzed. From the five specific characteristics analyzed, only one –
tradition of advocacy reporting – is not defined in a negative manner. The
others are defined as the absence of some qualities that can be found in
the rest of the European Union countries: a high newspaper circulation, a
considerable independence from the media vis-`
a-vis private interests and
political ends, a strong public service tradition, and significant autonomy
of journalism as a profession. In a similar way, clientelism, the chief ana-
lytical category used by the authors, is also defined in a negative way,
in contrast to rational-legal authority. The authors provide convincing
evidence that both the Southern European and the Latin American media
systems are very different from the other Western European and North
American countries, but they are not so persuasive when they suggest that
they have other significant characteristics in common.
It seems only fair to ask if the label “Polarized Pluralist model” is
adequate for a broader use than the one originally intended in Com-
paring Media Systems. The authors borrow the concept from Sartori’s
1976 book Parties and Party Systems and use it in opposition to another
Sartorian concept, “moderate pluralism.” However, the two categories
are far from adequate for illustrating the entire framework presented
by Sartori. In fact, the main contrast that he proposes is between com-
petitive and noncompetitive party systems. Sartori identifies three types
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On Models and Margins 77
of noncompetitive party systems – no-party, single party, and hegemonic
party systems – and four types of competitive party systems: the Polarized
Pluralist system quoted by Hallin and Mancini, the Moderate Pluralist,
the two-party, and the atomized party systems. The emphasis on the
opposition between polarized and moderate pluralism is partially justi-
fied by the restricted focus of their study – all the Western European
and North American countries have competitive party systems. Yet this
emphasis is not entirely justified given that some of them, like the United
States or the United Kingdom, have two-party, rather than pluralistic
party systems.1In addition, Sartori (1976:13173) applies the category
“polarized pluralism” to a very limited set of countries, in specific histor-
ical circumstances. This contrasts with Hallin and Mancini’s suggestion
that the Polarized Pluralist model could have an almost universal utility
as an analytical tool. It remains an open question whether the framework
proposed by Sartori provides a good basis for a global-scale comparative
study about the relationship between the media and political systems. As
with most comparative studies of political parties (Wolinetz, 2002), its
premises are too much grounded on the Western European experience.
For example, they describe better the role that political parties play in the
parliamentary system, which prevails in Western Europe, than their role
in the presidential system. I return to this issue later.
The Four Dimensions for Comparative Analysis
and the Brazilian Media System
In this part, I analyze the Brazilian media system in light of the four dimen-
sions presented in Comparing Media Systems:(1) structure of media mar-
kets, (2) political parallelism, (3) professionalism, and (4) the role of the
state. My aim is to identify traits in common or significant differences
between the Brazilian media system and the three models proposed by
Hallin and Mancini.
The Structure of Media Markets
In their analysis of the structure of the media markets of the countries of
North America and Western Europe, Hallin and Mancini focus on four
variables: (1) the rates of newspaper circulation, (2) the audience of the
1Maybe it would be useful to consider the Democratic Corporatist model and the Liberal
model as roughly corresponding to Sartori’s moderate pluralistic and two-party systems,
respectively.
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78 Afonso de Albuquerque
table 5.1. Newspapers with the Highest
Circulation, Brazil 2005
Newspapers Daily Circulation
Folha de S. Paulo 309,383
O Globo 276,385
Extra 267,225
OEstadodeS
˜
ao Paulo 231,165
Zero Hora 174,617
Source: IVC.2
newspapers and the role they play as mediators in the political communi-
cation process, (3) the relative importance of newspapers and television
as sources of news, and (4) the historical roots of the newspapers. How
does the Brazilian media system perform regarding them?
First, Brazilian newspapers have a very low rate of circulation. Accord-
ing to data from the Institute for Verification of Circulation, in 2000 the
rate of newspaper sales per 1,000 adult population was 60.6.3In the same
year, the corresponding rates for the four Mediterranean countries exam-
ined by Hallin and Mancini were 129.4for Spain, 121.4for Italy, 82.7
for Portugal, and 77.5for Greece. These rates were the lowest among
the countries discussed in Comparing Media Systems. Comparatively,
the rate of newspaper circulation was 719.7for Norway, 408.5for the
United Kingdom, and 263.6for the United States. In 2005 the Brazilian
rate had dropped to 45.3newspapers sold per 1,000 adult population.
Second, Brazilian newspapers are addressed to a small urban elite, just
like Southern European ones. From the five newspapers with the highest
circulation (see Table 5.1), four are elite-oriented – Folha de S. Paulo,O
Globo,O Estado de S˜
ao Paulo, and Zero Hora – and only one, Extra,
targets a popular readership. According to Azevedo (2006:95), Brazilian
newspapers adopt a restrained writing style, give priority to economic and
political themes, and balance their low penetration among the popular
classes with a great capacity to set the agenda, frame questions, and
influence perceptions and behaviors at the elite level.
Third, the Brazilian media system has often been described as being
significantly television-centered. In contrast with the low newspaper read-
ership, 90 percent of Brazilian homes have at least one television set
2See http://www.anj.org.br/?q=node/177.
3See the Web site of the Associac¸˜
ao Brasileira de Jornais (National Newspapers Associa-
tion). http://www.anj.org.br/?q=node/183.
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On Models and Margins 79
(Azevedo, 2006). In contrast to newspapers and, until recently, radio sta-
tions, television is structured around national networks that play a very
important role in building a homogeneous national culture (Ortiz, 1988).
Television receives 58.7percent of the advertising media budget, and
Globo Network, the main television network in Brazil, gets more than
three-quarters of this amount. Currently Globo Network has 55 percent
of the audience share (Lima, 2004).
Fourth, Brazilian press had a late development. During the colonial
period, Portugal made consistent efforts to reduce the economic, polit-
ical, and intellectual autonomy of Brazil. In contrast to Spain, which
created universities in its colonial territories, Portugal limited the educa-
tion of the Brazilians and forbade them to have printing facilities until
1808, when the Portuguese Court moved to Rio de Janeiro, escaping from
the invasion of their country by Napoleonic troops. The independence of
Brazil in 1822 stimulated a rapid expansion of the press. During the rest
of the nineteenth century, most publications were leaflets, pamphlets, and
short-lived newspapers, dedicated chiefly to political polemics (Lustosa,
2000). Only at the turn of the twentieth century did a more consolidated,
institutionalized press come to exist in Brazil, mainly in Rio de Janeiro,
then the capital. The replacement of a monarchy by a republican govern-
ment in 1889 and changes in the urban environment – mainly in Rio de
Janeiro, whose population almost tripled, from 275,000 inhabitants in
1872 to 811,000 in 1906 – served as a powerful stimulus for intellectual
life (Chalhoub, 1986,1996). Under the influence of the Belle ´
Epoque
spirit, Brazilian intellectuals dreamed about taking part in a R´
epublique
des Lettres and making a living from literature. They were largely frus-
trated, however, given that the publishing business was not strong enough
to allow it (Sevcenko, 1983). Newspapers were the only exception to this
state of affairs. Thus being a journalist was a sine qua non condition for
living the literary life (Miceli, 2001).
The influence of the American model was decisive in changing Brazil-
ian media. This influence can be traced to the 1930s, when a commercial
model of radio, inspired by the American trusteeship model, developed
in Brazil (Almeida, 1993). This influence became stronger during World
War II, and in the 1950s, a new type of journalism – more informa-
tion oriented and inspired by the American model – began to develop
(Albuquerque, 2005). Television also began to operate in 1950.TheTV
stations stayed essentially local until the 1970s, when improvement in
the technologies of communications and a huge investment from the
Brazilian state allowed the creation of nationwide television networks.
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80 Afonso de Albuquerque
As described earlier, Globo Network was the main beneficiary of this
structure. Not only did it occupy a hegemonic position in the Brazilian
television scene but it also became an important player in the global mar-
ket, as an exporter of programming, mainly telenovelas (Mattelart and
Mattelart, 1989; Porto, 2006).
Political Parallelism
The concept of political parallelism refers to Seymour-Ure’s notion of
party-press parallelism, used to evaluate the degree of connection between
the media system and the party system. Hallin and Mancini use this con-
cept in a broader sense than did Seymour-Ure; they are interested in
evaluating the strength of the liaisons between the media organizations
and general political tendencies (and not only political parties). They
present five criteria to evaluate that strength: (1) media content, (2) orga-
nizational connections, (3) the tendency for media personnel to take part
in political life, (4) the partisanship of media audiences, and (5) journal-
ists’ role orientation and practices (advocacy journalism versus neutral
information or entertainment).
Until the 1950s journalism was thought of mainly in terms of a “pub-
licist” role, and most journalists came from the lower ranks of the oli-
garchy. Political commentary, notes in honor of powerful people, and
above all editorials were valued journalistic genres. Doing well in these
activities would allow journalists to initiate political careers or at least to
get an easy job in the public bureaucracy (Miceli, 2001). After the 1950s
Brazilian newspapers progressively shifted to a more fact-centered model
of journalism (Chalaby, 1996). This does not mean that journalism in
Brazil changed entirely from one moment to the next, however. Dur-
ing the brief democratic period that endured from 1946 to 1964,most
Brazilian newspapers still showed some of the traits that define political
parallelism. Media content was strongly tied to political interests: News-
papers often acted as the public voices of political groups. For example,
the paper ´
Ultima Hora was created to support the election campaign
and the government (19514) of the former dictator Get ´
ulio Vargas, and
it defended his legacy after Vargas killed himself; other papers, such as
Not´
ıcias Populares, were founded to oppose him (Goldenstein, 1987).
These connections with political actors were essential for the survival of
the newspapers as organizations. Their low circulation and the absence
of significant private advertising investment did not allow for the devel-
opment of a market-based press. Rather, the economic health of the
newspapers depended on the government investments, advertising by
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On Models and Margins 81
state-owned organizations, loans “to be paid on doomsday,” and also
on bribes (Ribeiro, 2001,2006; Waisbord, 2000).
Some newspapers had partisan audiences, too. When Carlos Lacerda,
a maverick politician from the conservative party Uni˜
ao Democr´
atica
Nacional, was fired from the traditional newspaper O Correio da Manh˜
a,
in which he worked as a columnist, his supporters backed a campaign
to name “a newspaper for Carlos.” The campaign was successful, and as
many as 34,000 people donated money to help Lacerda build the news-
paper Tribuna da Imprensa. The number of contributors was close to
the newspaper’s circulation in the 1950s, which oscillated from 25,000
to 45,000 (Ribeiro, 2006). Obviously, the coming of a new style of jour-
nalism did not displace in the short run either the role orientation of
journalism as advocacy or the tendency of journalists to take part in
politics.
The military regime (196485) had a devastating impact on politi-
cal parallelism, however. It dissolved all political parties and replaced
them with a noncompetitive two-party system, in which the opposition
party Movimento Democr´
atico Brasileiro was supposed to perform a
very moderate opposition role, taking part in the elections and being
defeated by the governing party ARENA (Alianc¸a Renovadora Nacional;
Kinzo, 1988). During this period most media organizations were either
subservient to the government or were under censorship (Smith, 1997).
Only small, independent journalistic organizations known as imprensa
alternativa (alternative press) tried to resist this state of affairs (Kucinski,
1991). From a financial point of view, however, the military regime era
was an auspicious time for the leading media organizations. They prof-
ited from the significant growth of the market economy and from massive
investments by the military government (Ortiz, 1988). As a consequence,
by the end of the military regime they were able to play a more active
political role in the transition to and consolidation of the new democracy
(Guimar˜
aes and Amaral, 1988;Lima,2004).
As democracy became more consolidated in Brazil, most of the leading
news media organizations adopted a market-driven, catch-all attitude.
They made an effort to distance themselves from particular political
groups and took measures to increase internal pluralism in their polit-
ical coverage (Matos, 2008; Porto, 2002). However, this does not mean
that they adopted a more passive attitude toward politics. For example,
Folha de S. Paulo has maintained that when their readers buy an copy,
they provide the newspaper with a representative mandate. Based on this
stance, Folha de S. Paulo has claimed the responsibility for “intervening
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82 Afonso de Albuquerque
in public debate, and supported by facts and objective data, changing
beliefs and habits, influencing the behaviour of institutions, either public
or private-owned” (Folha de S. Paulo, 1984:42; see also Albuquerque
and Holzbach, 2008).
Professionalism
Hallin and Mancini discuss three dimensions of journalistic profession-
alism: autonomy, distinct professional norms, and public service orien-
tation. How do these apply to Brazilian journalism? Let us begin by
discussing professional norms. Since the 1950s the American journalism
model has exerted a significant influence in Brazil, which is far earlier
than in most other countries. The use of a fact-centered text style and
methods of gathering and processing information on a large scale became
a matter of professional pride for Brazilian journalists, allowing them
to think about themselves as mastering a specialized craft. Even today,
the adoption of the lead at the beginning of the news text as opposed
to the ancient literary style is described as one of the main traits that
distinguish true (professional) journalists from amateurs (Jobim, 1954;
Ribeiro, 2003).
However, this does not necessarily imply that Brazilian media has
become “Americanized.” The circumstances that allowed the develop-
ment of American journalism were not present in Brazil: There was no
solid market economy, individualistic culture, or political culture that
valued the freedom of the press. As a consequence, the Brazilian news
media and their journalists redefined the rhetoric (such as the concepts of
objectivity and journalism as a Fourth Branch) and the practices (such as
the interview) they borrowed from American journalism, sometimes in
very peculiar manners (Albuquerque, 2005). To better understand how
this transformation occurred, it is necessary to take a closer look at the
process of adaptation of American journalism. Understanding the par-
ticular way in which Brazilian journalists and news media adapted the
American model is as important as recognizing the changes that resulted
from it.
The development of journalistic professionalism in Brazil was facili-
tated by economic and political circumstances that allowed the owners of
conservative papers and communist journalists working for them to estab-
lish an unspoken alliance (Albuquerque and Roxo da Silva, 2009). This
alliance allowed a large number of leftist journalists – most of them affil-
iated with the Brazilian Communist Party (Partido Comunista Brasileiro
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On Models and Margins 83
[PCB])4– to be hired, and some came to hold key positions in the con-
servative newspapers.5The newspaper publishers had commercial rea-
sons and the communist journalists had political reasons for working
together. The publishers had to modernize their newspapers to survive
in an increasingly competitive market (Ribeiro, 2006), and that included
adopting a more fact-centered style of journalism. To do so, they needed
a new kind of journalist, and for many reasons, the communists were in a
good position to be that kind of journalist. Meanwhile, infiltration in the
newspapers provided the communists with organizational resources (pro-
viding jobs and political protection for their militants) that they could use
for the benefit of their party. However, these journalists knew there was
a price to pay for their infiltration: They could not look threatening to the
publishers, or the schema would break down (Abramo, 1988; Kucinski,
1998). Thus, in practice, the PCB converted party discipline into journalis-
tic discipline. By providing some stability to the newsrooms, communist
journalists helped ensure that the conditions for the transformation of
Brazilian journalism were met. The language of professionalism was con-
venient for both owners and journalists. It allowed them to communicate,
notwithstanding their different beliefs and objectives. From the point of
view of the owners, professionalism helped assure some discipline to their
newsrooms; for the journalists, it helped assure some autonomy in the
exercise of their work (Soloski, 1989).
Yet the military that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985 could not eas-
ily accept the massive presence of communists working in the newspa-
pers. To restrict the hiring of new communist journalists, in 1969 they
imposed a law (decree-law 972) that required a university degree to work
as a journalist, believing that this criterion would guarantee profession-
als with a more technical than a political background. The strategy was
only partially successful. On the one hand, the influence of the traditional
4It is not possible to estimate precisely the percentage of journalists who were communists,
because the PCB was outlawed, and thus communist activism was a clandestine activity.
However, from a group of fifty-five journalists active in the 1960s–70s who were inter-
viewed by Alzira Abreu (2003), 43% reported having taken part in leftist movements or
parties and among them 61% reported having taken part in the PCB. This corresponds
roughly to one-fourth of the journalists interviewed.
5Augusto Nunes, Elio Gaspari, and Roberto M¨
uller Filho are some examples of journalists
who were editors-in-chief of leading newspapers and newsweeklies and who were affili-
ated with the PCB. Claudio Abramo, who was editor-in-chief of the two most important
newspapers from S˜
ao Paulo – OEstadodeS
˜
ao Paulo and Folha de S. Paulo –usedto
define himself as being a Marxist, but not a communist.
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84 Afonso de Albuquerque
communist networks declined sharply during the 1970s. On the other
hand, the new journalists had far from the technical profile intended by
the military. In fact, many were more radical than the older communist
journalists. The new radical journalists saw themselves as exploited pro-
letarians, whose interests were identical to those of the working class and
thus clashed with the publishers’ interests (Abramo, 1997). These jour-
nalists began to build their professional identity in the universities, far
from the newsrooms. Given that the universities became the fulcrum of
the leftist resistance to the regime (Almeida and Weis, 1998), the journal-
ists were taught to believe that the media were the ideological apparatus
of the state, at the service of the interests of the bourgeoisie and the mil-
itary dictatorship. In addition, the new journalists were more ready to
believe that their jobs depended mainly on their individual talents (that
is, the competency attested by a university), rather than on political and
personal favors; thus they were less inclined to have feelings of personal
gratitude regarding their employers or colleagues.
In these circumstances, the unspoken agreement between the owners
of newspapers and the journalists who worked for them could not
prosper. In 1979 the journalists of the S˜
ao Paulo State went on strike.
They fought for better salaries, but they demanded something else too:
recognition by their bosses of the Consultative Council of Newsroom
Representatives (Conselho Consultivo dos Representantes de Redac¸˜
ao
[CCRR]), which would work toward reinforcing the authority of the
Union of Journalists within the newsrooms.6The publishers were not
ready to provide this recognition and reacted severely to the strike, firing
many journalists and greatly reducing the autonomy of the newsrooms.
Because the publishers concluded that the old communist journalists
were not able to maintain discipline in the newsrooms, they were
removed from their editorial posts and replaced by new journalists, more
submissive to management interests.7
6The Consultative Council of Newsroom Representatives was created by the Union of Jour-
nalists of S˜
ao Paulo in 19778. Perseu Abramo, one of the most distinguished defenders
of the CCRR, says that its main purpose was to provide the journalists with democratic
representation inside the newsrooms. He defines the CCRR as a journalists’ instrument
of pressure “against the publishers, and, as a consequence, against the establishment”
(1997:289).
7The newspaper Folha de S. Paulo provides the best illustration for this. Its “Folha Project”
aimed to reorganize entirely the process of news production, with the aim of giving
management total control over it. In a three-year period, hundreds of journalists were
fired, or they resigned because of their inability to conform to the requirements of the
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On Models and Margins 85
The legal requirement of having a university degree in journalism had
a significant impact on the development of the cultural identity of Brazil-
ian journalists. Notwithstanding the authoritarian character of decree-
law 972, the National Federation of Journalists (Federac¸˜
ao Nacional
dos Jornalistas [FENAJ]) endorsed it, motivated by corporatist interests
(reserving posts for the people who had a university degree in journalism).
As a consequence the normative focus of Brazilian journalists shifted from
the questions “what is journalism?” and “how must it be exercised?” to
“who can legally work as a journalist?” As Adghirni put it, in Brazil a
person with a university degree in journalism will always be a journalist,
even if she or he works in another profession” (2004:142). All in all,
the development of a solid public service orientation did not find fertile
ground in Brazil. Despite the widespread use of a public service rhetoric
by the Brazilian journalists, this very same rhetoric has often served as a
cover-up for other purposes: to allow conservative newspapers to employ
communist journalists or to justify job privileges for people with a uni-
versity degree in journalism.
The Role of the State
In Comparing Media Systems, Hallin and Mancini suggest that the state
plays four main roles regarding the media: (1) exerting censorship or
other types of political pressure, (2) endowing the media with economic
subsidies, (3) owning media organizations, and (4) providing regulations
for the media in the name of the public interest. To what extent are they
useful for explaining the Brazilian case?
During its history as a republic, Brazil has alternated between authori-
tarian and democratic periods of government. During the first government
of President Get ´
ulio Vargas (193045) – particularly during the period
of the Estado Novo (New State), which lasted from 1937 to 1945 and
had Nazi-fascist inspirations – and during the military regime (196485),
the media were systematically censored. However, the logic of censor-
ship was different in these two periods. During the Estado Novo censor-
ship was fully institutionalized. In 1939 the regime created the Press and
Propaganda Department (Departamento de Imprensa e Propaganda). Its
responsibilities included both censoring the media and disseminating the
regime’s values and perspectives (Velloso, 1982). In contrast to the Estado
Novo, the military regime tried hard to veil its authoritarian character. It
project. Even Octavio Frias Filho, who was mainly responsible for the project, described
it as “draconian” (2003).
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86 Afonso de Albuquerque
also systematically censored the press, but it attempted to hide it from the
public. There was no formal entity responsible for censoring the press:
The orders always came “from above.” To be effective, this kind of cen-
sorship relied on a “culture of fear” installed among journalists (Smith,
1997). Both the Estado Novo and the military regime also occasionally
resorted to physical violence to intimidate journalists. After the end of
the military regime, political censorship almost ended in Brazil. How-
ever, intimidation and violence against journalists remain significant in
the country, particularly in small towns.
The limited number of readers and the insufficient investment from
private advertisers rendered impossible the full development of a market-
based press in Brazil (Silva, 1991; Waisbord, 2000b). As a consequence,
state subsidies have played a very important role in the economic life of
media organizations. State-owned banks have provided generous loans
for media organizations, and state-owned companies are responsible for
a large part of their advertising budgets. During the military regime,
the state made a huge investment to build first a microwave and then
a satellite-based communications infrastructure necessary to allow tele-
vision broadcasting across the entire Brazilian territory, in the name of
national integration. Thanks to this, TV Globo jumped from a local TV
station based in Rio de Janeiro to become a major network, one of the
biggest in the world (Mattelart and Mattelart, 1989).
The state has never played an important role as an owner of media
organizations in Brazil. Similar to what happened in the United States,
broadcasting media in Brazil have been almost entirely privately owned
since their inception. Thus, in contrast to what happened in Europe and
in many countries around the world, the Brazilian broadcasting media
structure was not deeply challenged in the 1980s and 1990s. There was no
place for a “commercial deluge” simply because Brazilian media already
had a commercial character. In fact, Brazilian broadcast television had
developed a very particular communicative style, which has remained
remarkably stable for decades – for example, the prime-time schedule
has continued to be based on a mixture of telenovelas and newscasts –
and was not significantly affected by the process of globalization. Thus,
the association between commercialization and Americanization makes
much less sense in Brazil than in the European countries.
Finally, there are some central questions regarding the regulation of
the media. In a sense, the Brazilian media are even less regulated than
American media. In contrast to the United States, an independent regu-
latory agency was never established in Brazil. Historically, the power to
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On Models and Margins 87
allot radio and television licenses has been monopolized by the execu-
tive branch (Porto, 2006:130). There is an important exception to that
rule, however. Political broadcasts have been regulated since 1962.Law
4115 provided parties with free time on radio and television in order to
broadcast political ads, and in 1974 Law 9601 forbade candidates and
parties from purchasing time for paid advertising. Both rules remain valid
today (Albuquerque, 1999; Duarte, 1980). Most free airtime is allotted
to the political parties in proportion to the number of seats they have in
the lower house of the National Congress. In local elections, the number
of seats in the local and city chambers are also taken into account. As
a rule, there are not many content restrictions on political broadcasts
(Albuquerque, 1999).
New Variables and Categories
In this part of the chapter, I discuss several traits that distinguish Brazil
from the three-model framework presented by Hallin and Mancini and,
based on this discussion, propose new categories and schemas for a
worldwide comparative analysis. First, I emphasize the importance of
distinguishing central from peripheral media systems. Second, I present
the system of government as a significant variable for understanding the
relationship between the political and media systems in a given country.
Finally, I criticize the concept of political parallelism as being inadequate
to account for the different kinds of relationships between the media and
the political systems that go beyond the original scope of Comparing
Media Systems, and I propose a schema that crosses two variables – the
relative strength of political parties and the level of engagement of the
media in politics.
Central and Peripheral Media Systems
The distinction between peripheral and central media systems is a classic
one that can be identified in different forms in theoretical perspectives as
diverse as development theory, cultural imperialism theory, and cultural
studies. This distinction takes its raison d’ˆ
etre from colonialism, which,
from the sixteenth century on, has put the Western countries in the cen-
ter of the world system. It is possible to suggest that this distinction is
implicitly recognized by Hallin and Mancini themselves, when they write
that the models they analyzed “tend to be dominant globally.” Here,
I propose classifying as peripheral those media systems that have been
primarily structured in reference to foreign models (understood in the
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88 Afonso de Albuquerque
sense of “models to . . .”) and as central those media systems that serve as
models for the others.
We must use the terms “central” and “peripheral” with some caution,
however. To begin with, they must be understood as relative concepts.
Media systems occupy a more or less central (or peripheral) role relative
to the others; there are no “pure” central or peripheral media systems.
When used in a broad sense, we can apply these terms even to the eighteen
countries analyzed in Comparing Media Systems. The dictate “either
the state or the United States” (Hallin and Mancini, 1984:232) neatly
indicates the relatively peripheral position of Canada vis- `
a-vis its powerful
neighbor. The same can be said about the position of Ireland in relation
to the British media system.
The concept of periphery proves to be particularly useful when applied
to countries that are former colonies and that have defined their national
identities in reference to (and against) their European colonizers (see, for
example, Daniels and Kennedy, 2002). Latin America offers a very inter-
esting case in point. In a similar way to what happened in the United
States, the Latin American countries shared language and culture with
their former colonizing metropolises (Anderson, 1983). However, the
colonization of Latin America and the United States followed very dif-
ferent logics. Settlers in the United States were strongly influenced by the
ideal of building a new world, alternative to the one they left in Europe.
They also enjoyed a significant degree of autonomy in the administra-
tion of their local affairs (Bellah, 1967; Tocqueville, 1969). In contrast,
Latin American colonies were considered to be extensions of the coloniz-
ing powers, and their colonization was strongly determined by the state.
Even though the independence process of the Latin American countries
has been strongly influenced by that of the United States, in practice the
pathways to independence were very different. In a way, the Latin Ameri-
can countries have experienced a double sentiment of displacement. They
perceive themselves as others in relation both to their formal metropolises
(other Spanish or Portuguese people) and to the United States, the pro-
totypical model for “America” and the “New World” (Feres Junior,
2004).
The analysis of peripheral media systems must focus on the relation-
ship they maintain with foreign media models. It is not sufficient to say
that these media systems are influenced by foreign models and that they
adopt their principles and practices. The identification of the peripheral
countries as merely passive recipients of media contents and formats in
contrast to the central countries is too simplistic. Similarly, the differences
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On Models and Margins 89
between the original model and the form that it takes in the peripheral
systems cannot be adequately explained as the result of its failed imple-
mentation, even if the agents involved in the process say so – as when
Brazilian journalists refer to Brazilian journalism as a caricature of the
American system (Herscovitz, 2000; Silva, 1991). These differences result
from an active effort of adaptation of the foreign models to the specific
social and cultural characteristics of the different peripheral media sys-
tems.
The adaptation of the Anglo-American Fourth Power rhetoric in Brazil
provides a good example. Two different Fourth Power discourses served
as references for Brazilian journalists: the Fourth Estate discourse and the
Fourth Branch discourse.8The Fourth Estate discourse describes the role
of the press in terms of a counterpower, whose main purpose is acting
as a watchdog at the service of the citizens to prevent governmental
abuses. It is a strongly normative discourse, associated with a Liberal
view of the media.9The Fourth Branch discourse refers to the checks
and balances system of American government and describes the press
as playing a mediating role between the branches of government and
between the government and the citizens of the country (Cater, 1965;
Cook, 1998). In Brazil, both discourses were reinterpreted in reference
to a native model of Fourth Power, which originally had nothing to do
with the role of the press: The Poder Moderador (Moderating Power) was
created by the first Brazilian constitution, in 1824, under the argument
that a fourth force would be necessary to arbitrate the conflicts between
the executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches, enabling them
to work together. The legal existence of the Poder Moderador ended
in 1889, when the Brazilian government shifted from a monarchy to a
republic. However, the belief that three constitutional branches needed
a fourth force to arbitrate their disputes remained an important trait
of Brazilian political culture. Between 1946 and 1964 the military was
supposed to play that role, as the supreme guardian of the constitution.
8In this chapter I use the term “Fourth Power” as a general concept that includes other,
more specific conceptions about the role of the press vis-`
a-vis the political institutions.
Sparks (1995) proposes a different classification based on three concepts: Fourth Power,
Fourth Estate, and watchdog.
9Two examples of such normative use of the concept of the Fourth Estate are Lawson’s
analysis on the role of the press in the Mexican democratization process (2002)and
McNair’s discussion on the failure of Russian press in acting as a “genuine ‘fourth
estate’ debt to a succession of pro-censorship bills made by the conservative-controlled
parliament” (2002:845).
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90 Afonso de Albuquerque
In 1964, it took control of the government in a coup d’etat and ruled
the country until 1985. After the end of the military regime, the leading
media organizations claimed the responsibility for playing such role, by
creating a Fourth Power discourse that combined references to the Fourth
Estate and Fourth Branch discourses with the Brazilian tradition of Poder
Moderador (Albuquerque, 2005).
The peripheral (or central) condition is not unchangeable. The rela-
tionship between central and peripheral media systems is dynamic and
historically situated: A given media system can move from a more periph-
eral to a more central place, and vice versa. The growing influence of
American-born concepts and practices in the Western European media
systems (Hallin and Mancini, 2004a) indicates the shifting of the Ameri-
can model to a even more central position, at the same time as the status
of those media systems status becomes more peripheral in comparison to
it. In contrast, some media systems – for example, some East Asian ones
(Keane, 2006) – that usually have been considered as peripheral seem to
be moving to a more central position. Not all aspects of a given media
system move equally, however. The telenovelas produced by some Latin
American countries, such as Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and
Argentina, have come to occupy a considerably more central position in
the world media system (Mato, 2005; Mattelart and Mattelart, 1989), but
the journalism that these countries produce has mostly peripheral traits.
System of Government
For a long time, presidentialism has been almost ignored by comparative
political research. When it finally got some attention at the end of the
1980s to the early 1990s, it was mainly negative. The presidential system
was described as being essentially a source of political instability: The
temporal rigidity of presidential and congressional mandates facilitates
institutional deadlock, either when there is a very unpopular president or
stiff opposition between the president and the congress (Linz 1994); the
presidential system promotes an extreme form of majoritarianism, which
marginalizes minority views in a “winner-take-all” logic according to Linz
(1990); and it promotes personalism and, as a consequence, weak polit-
ical parties (Mainwaring, 1995). All in all, the presidential system was
described as a peril for democracy and as being strongly associated with
authoritarian regimes. More recently some authors have challenged this
view. Cheibub, for example, argues that “[f]rom a strictly institutional
point of view, presidentialism can be as stable as parliamentarism” (2007:
3). Shugart and Carey (1997) observe that, during the twentieth century,
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On Models and Margins 91
the parliamentary systems were more likely experience the breakdown
of the democratic regime than presidential systems, if we consider only
Third World cases.
In Comparing Media Systems, Hallin and Mancini did not consider
the system of government – parliamentary or presidential – to be a sig-
nificant variable for explaining the relationship between the political and
the media systems. In an earlier comparison of media and politics in the
United States and Italy (Hallin and Mancini, 1984), however, they paid
a lot of attention to it. Why did this variable disappear from Comparing
Media Systems? Probably it has to do with the sample of the research.
In the earlier study, one presidential country was measured against one
parliamentary one. In Comparing Media Systems theUnitedStatesisthe
only country with a purely presidential system, in a sample of eighteen
countries. Yet, the distinction between presidential and parliamentary
government can prove very useful in a global comparison. Presidentialism
is essentially a Third World phenomenon – the United States being the
lonely exception to this rule (Shugart and Carey, 1997) – and a particu-
larly important trait of Latin American countries.
How does the presidential system of government affect the relationship
between media and politics? Here, I maintain that the separation of pow-
ers affects both the manner in which the media organizations represent
politics and the role that they intend to play in it. Media representation
of politics is affected in two main ways. First, media tends to focus on the
president as an individual person – presidents literally give government
a body – to the detriment of collective agents such as political parties.
Second, in a presidential system media tend to reinforce the emphasis
on the administrative aspects of government, rather than on party poli-
tics. Schudson (1982,2002) has emphasized the influence of the Progres-
sive Movement in the development of an administrative view of politics
among American journalists. No similar movement existed in Brazil, but
the administrative view of government also prevails over the political one
and has become even more dominant in recent years (Porto, 2002). Both
the emphasis on political individuals (rather than on collective forces)
and the focus on administrative aspects of the government (rather than
on party politics) contributed to promoting a generalist, catch-all attitude
in the media. Separation of powers also affects the way the media deal
with the government. As discussed earlier, in presidentialist countries,
the media play a very important intermediary role by allowing the three
branches to communicate with each other and with the public. However,
the news media do not play this role in the same way everywhere. In
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92 Afonso de Albuquerque
the United States the news media perform this role by denying they do
so. It is precisely because the news media claim to provide only objective
information to the public that they are perceived as a central institution
for democracy (Cook, 1998). On the contrary, in Brazil they claim to
play a far more active role, arbitrating the disputes between the branches
and taking sides “in the name of the national interest” (Albuquerque,
2005).
Beyond Political Parallelism
Political parallelism is the least clearly defined category among the four
variables that comprise the theoretical framework of Comparing Media
Systems. It refers to the concept of party-press parallelism, proposed by
Seymour-Ure (1974:159): “The same social forces that find expression
in a party or parties of a political system tend to find expression also
through the press.” To measure the level of parallelism, Seymour-Ure
proposes four criteria, which relate to some of the characteristics of
political parties: (1)organization, meaning “the ownership and man-
agement of a paper by a party” (1974:160); (2) the loyalty of a paper
to the party goals;(3) the correspondence between the supporters of a
party and the readers of a paper; and (4) the ratio between parties and
papers. Thirty years later, Hallin and Mancini note that examples of a
one-to-one connection between media organizations and political parties
have become harder to find. For this reason, they propose a broader
definition of political parallelism that refers to the association between
the media and general political tendencies, which are not necessarily
related to particular parties. Their diagnosis seems to be correct, but the
solution proposed may be questioned: Can the term “parallelism” still
be useful when applied to situations in which the political cleavages are
not as obvious as they used to be?
I propose that political parallelism not be considered as a single vari-
able, but as the result of the combination of two variables. First, a single
variable assumes the existence of a political system in which the party
lines are clear enough to allow the observer to perceive them (as their
“reflections” in the media). Second, it assumes the existence of a politi-
cally active media, in the sense of taking explicit political positions. Hence
political parallelism describes a situation in which media organizations
systematically embrace specific party lines. Defined this way, political par-
allelism reflects only one of four possible types of relationships between
media and politics. However, there are three other possibilities. In the
second one, the party lines are also clearly defined, but the media refrain
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On Models and Margins 93
table 5.2. Types of Media–Politics Relationships
Politically Active Media
Party Lines Strong Weak
Clear Political parallelism
(Polarized Pluralist model)
Public service media
(Democratic Corporatist model)
Unclear Media as a political agent
(Moderating role)
“Objective” media
(Liberal model)
from taking an explicit position in the name of a public service ethics. In
the third possibility a nonpolitically active media associate with a polit-
ical system in which the party lines are unclear. In the fourth one the
media play a very active political role, despite the fact that party lines are
unclear (see Table 5.2).
Among these types, three can be easily related to the models proposed
in Comparing Media Systems: Political parallelism corresponds to the
Polarized Pluralist model, public service media to the Democratic Corpo-
ratist model, and “objective” media to the Liberal model. The fourth type,
the media as a political agent, has no corresponding model in the book.
In this situation, the media explicitly take part in political debate, but do
not do so as representatives of the view of the political parties. Exploiting
their catch-all character, they claim directly to represent national interests
in a more legitimate way than the political parties and even the formal
political institutions. I cannot identify at the present a model – in the
sense of the three models proposed by Hallin and Mancini – that would
be equivalent to this situation, but I believe that the moderating role
that the Brazilian media claim to play regarding the political forces and
institutions furnishes a good example (Albuquerque, 2005).
Conclusion
The Brazilian media system is believed to have many traits in common
with the media systems in Southern European countries (Hallin and
Papathanassopoulos, 2002). Azevedo (2006) goes further and classifies
it as an example of the Polarized Pluralist model. However, the exam-
ination of the Brazilian media system according to the four dimensions
of analysis proposed by Hallin and Mancini – the structure of media
markets, political parallelism, professionalism, and the role of the state –
shows a more complex picture.
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94 Afonso de Albuquerque
The data concerning the structure of the Brazilian media market seem
to support Hallin and Papathanassopoulos’s claim that Brazil, like other
Latin American countries, presents, even more strikingly, characteristics
of the Mediterranean media systems: low circulation of newspapers, ori-
entation toward the elites, late development of the press, and the huge
influence of television as a source of news. However, it must be noted that
the first three characteristics are defined in contrast to the full develop-
ment of a mass press; hence in a negative way. To put it another way, this
means that both Southern European and Latin American media systems
are different from the ones in the countries classified as having the Demo-
cratic Corporatist and the Liberal models, but they are not necessarily
similar to one another.
The examination of the three other dimensions of analysis reveals
more differences than similarities between the Brazilian media system
and the Polarized Pluralist model. First, media/politics parallelism does
not appear to be particularly strong in Brazil. I have stressed that paral-
lelism is more difficult to measure in countries with a presidential system
than in those with a parliamentarian one, because political parties play a
less active role in the government. In addition, most leading news organi-
zations seem to adopt a catch-all, market-driven attitude. This does not
mean that they avoid taking explicit political positions. They do take such
positions, but their agenda and positions are not reducible to the agendas
of the political parties; the opposite is more likely to happen.
Things seem even fuzzier regarding professionalism. Brazilian journal-
ists have been influenced by the norms of the American (Liberal) model
of journalism since the 1950s, thus far earlier than their colleagues in
most other countries, and they have built their identity and professional
pride around them. However, this does not mean that Brazilian journal-
ism is similar to American journalism: Brazilian journalists have radically
adapted the American model to their country’s cultural and social char-
acteristics. The American independent model is usually thought of as
opposed to political militancy. In Brazil, however, communist and other
leftist journalists played a major role in the adaptation of this model. The
influence of the communists shrank during the 1970s, under the influence
of decree-law 972, which established the university degree in journalism
as a prerequisite to the professional practice of journalism. This changes
resulted in a new kind of professional identity among Brazilian journal-
ists, a strongly corporatist one based on the defense of job privileges for
those with a university degree in journalism.
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On Models and Margins 95
Finally, let me present some observations about the role of the state.
Similar to what happened in some of the Southern European countries
studied by Hallin and Mancini, Brazil has a remarkable history of censor-
ship and of repression of journalists. The state and state-owned organiza-
tions have also played a very important role in providing economic subsi-
dies for the media. However, in contrast to other countries, the Brazilian
media have been almost totally privately owned since their inception.
Summing it up, the categories coined by Hallin and Mancini prove
to be very useful for a comparative discussion about many features of
the Brazilian media system, but they cannot deal with every significant
aspect. To take them into account, I suggest adding two variables to
the authors’ schema: the opposition between “central” and “peripheral”
media systems, and the system of government (presidential or parlia-
mentary). In addition, I suggest that the concept of political parallelism
be reviewed. Instead of considering it as a variable, it would be more
productive to think about it as a specific type of media–politics relation-
ship, which results from the combination of two variables: (1) the clarity
of party lines and (2) the degree of political activity of the media. The
Polarized Pluralist model, as defined by Hallin and Mancini, combines a
political system with clear party lines with politically active media. I have
identified three other possible combinations: (1) the “objective” media,
corresponding to the Liberal model (non-politically active media/unclear
party lines); (2) the “public service” media, which corresponds to the
Democratic Corporatist model (non-politically active media/clear party
lines); and (3) the media as a political agent, which has no corresponding
model in the authors’ schema, but has important traits in common with
the Brazilian media system (politically active media, unclear party lines).
Downloaded from Cambridge Books Online by IP 14.139.43.12 on Tue Oct 09 06:14:50 BST 2012.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139005098.006
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... In summary, the Mexican case illustrates the concept of multiple journalisms, which refers to the diversity of journalistic practices that simultaneously overlap in a single media system (Waisbord, 2006;de Albuquerque, 2012 and. In other words, instead of being homogeneous, media operation tends to be heterogeneous. ...
Chapter
The aim of this chapter is to describe Mexican journalists' responses to constant threats and aggressions. In doing so, it draws on 93 semi-structured interviews conducted in 23 of the most violent states of the country. The results indicate that violence against news workers has a twofold set of implications for the practice of professional journalism: On the one hand, constant attacks on media staff have promoted the development of a more elaborated journalistic performance, based upon factual reporting, diversification of sources, collaborative coverage, and the creation of journalists' associations. On the other hand, however, in many cases the same situation has also inhibited reporters' and newsrooms' jobs by forcing them to self-censorship and the dependence on government official versions of sensitive issues such as crime news or corruption, amongst other passive routines. The simultaneous coexistence of both outcomes provides evidence of the operation of multiple journalisms within the Mexican media system.
... What is more, these normative elements are also subject to very strong resistance, adoption and adaptation processes that themselves reflect the vagaries of local power balances (cf. Albuquerque, 2012). ...
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