#15M: The Big Hush
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#15M: The Big Hush

Negligence or wilful blindness? Failure to cover #15M is another stain on the reputation of anglophone media in Post-Coup Brazil.
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When an estimated one million people took to the streets across Brazil on #15M – March 15 2017, to protest Michel Temer’s unelected Government and their radical reforms to pensions and workers rights, which will result in most Brazilians dying before reaching retirement, there was a chronic media failure, both nationally and in Anglo media. With Brazil’s hegemonic media consciously deciding to minimise protests and instead focus on traffic and inconvenience, usually vocal US & UK journalists were absent altogether.

A million on the streets was certainly newsworthy when it threatened Rousseff’s centre-left Government. Comparison to the widespread coverage which accompanied June 2013’s destabilisation, or the synthesised right-wing protests which created a pretext for the illegitimate removal of former President Rousseff, demonstrates starkly how deep and systemic the editorial bias and self censorship are. Like #15M, Police Repression of those protesting Rousseff’s removal in 2016 was whitewashed, minimised or ignored by the majority of Anglo media too.

This kind of censorship is a practice we have observed in motion, firsthand, and documented several times before. Does the lack of mainstream media coverage when the Brazilian left go to the streets simply reflect Neoliberal or Conservative bias? and/or mirror a US & UK Foreign Policy towards Brazil which includes support for the Temer Presidency and his platform – which is after all undoubtably of benefit to foreign capital. If none of this is the case, it would be fascinating to hear an alternative explanation.

Here we will focus on which US/UK outlets and journalists who did and did not cover these enormous protests in defence of ordinary Brazilians public services, worker protections and the right of the majority of the population to a dignified retirement before death.

(As of Midnight 16/3/17)

MAIN US/UK QUALITY NEWSPAPERS

New York Times: Reprint Reuters. Reprint Associated Press.

Guardian: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

Times of London: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

Financial Times: Article “Brazilian transport workers strike over Temer pension reforms“.

Independent: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

Telegraph: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

Washington Post: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

Los Angeles Times: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

 

MAIN US/UK TV NEWS NETWORKS

CNN: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

BBC: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

SKY: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

FOX: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

MSNBC: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

 

US/UK NEWS AGENCIES

Associated Press: Depicts “tens of thousands” of protesters in Sao Paulo, in article: “Brazilians demonstrate, strike to protest pension changes.”

Reuters: Depicts “tens of thousands” of protesters in Sao Paulo, in article: “Brazil leaders back pension reform despite protests, graft probe.”

 

RECOGNISED US/UK MAINSTREAM JOURNALISTS COVERING BRAZIL ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Simon Romero (NYT): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter account.

Jonathan Watts (Guardian Latin America): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter account.

Brian Winter (Americas Quartely, former Reuters): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter account.

Jan Piotrowski (Economist): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter account.

Wyre Davies (BBC Latin America): Tweeted about Rio “Anti Government” Protest on Twitter account, with photo of a group of protesters.

Shasta Darlington (CNN):  No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter account.

Andrew Downie (Reuters): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter account.

Brad Brooks (Reuters): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter account.

Anthony Boadle (Reuters): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter account.

Vincent Bevins (Los Angeles Times): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter account.

Alex Cuadros (Washington Post/Bloomberg): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter account.

Mac Magolis (Bloomberg): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter account.

Bruce Douglas (Bloomberg): Tweeted schedule of Anti-Temer marches with graphic and description. Tweeted “Lula is currently addressing anti-government protesters in Sao Paulo.”

David Biller (Bloomberg): RT of @mansuelmeida complaint about vandalism to Finance Ministry by protesters in Brasilia. No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

Claire Rigby (Freelance): Tweeted “Sao Paulo protest reports 300k, part of general strike and actions against #Brazil pension & labour reform.” With 4 photos. Tweeted “Massive, cross-sector strike on pension reform, Public & Private; transport, schools, banks, factories.” With RT of G1. RT of @silviocascione on protests and occupation of Finance Ministry.

Dom Phillips (Washington Post): Tweeted @MidiaNINJA photo “Big Crowds at demonstration on Sao Paulo’s Avenida Paulista against pension reform.” Later Tweeted photo of vandalism to bank.


 

 


Jahn Harrison contributed this detailed parallel analysis of German Media, which also mostly omitted #15M and in cases where it was covered, as with the New York Times, the Reuters/AP misrepresentation of “tens of thousands” of protesters was reproduced.

(As of 6 pm 19/3/17)

MAIN GERMAN QUALITY NEWSPAPERS

Der Spiegel: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ): No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ): No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

Die Zeit: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

Die Welt: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

TAZ: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

MAIN GERMAN TABLOID PAPERS

Bild: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

Focus: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

Stern: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

MAIN GERMAN PUBLIC TV NEWS

Erste Deutsche Fernsehen (ARD): Covering General Strike on midday version of „Tagesschau“, citing hundreds of thousand protesters throughout the country; citing „tens of thousands“ in headline of online report „Umstrittene Pläne: Brasilianer demonstrieren gegen Rentenreform“ (Controversial plans : Brasilians protest against pension reform)

Zweite Deutsche Fernsehen ZDF: No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

GERMAN PUBLIC RADIO STATION

Deutschlandfunk (DLF): Depicts „tens of thousands“ protesting against reform „Proteste gegen Reform des Arbeitsrechts“ (Protests against labor law)   

GERMAN NEWS AGENCIES

Deutsche Presse Agentur (dpa): No coverage of #15M General Strike or Mass Demonstrations.

RECOGNISED GERMAN MAINSTREAM JOURNALISTS COVERING BRAZIL ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Matthias Rüb (F.A.Z): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Google+ account.

Jens Glüsing (Der Spiegel): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Facebook account.

Tom Fischermann (Die Zeit): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter account.

Ivo Marusczyk (ARD): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter.

Luten Leinhos (ZDF): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter.

Philipp Lichterbeck (Freelancer): No mention of General Strike or Mass Demonstrations on Twitter account.