Brasília (AFP) – Two of Brazil’s top media groups said Monday that they were suspending coverage of President Jair Bolsonaro’s informal press conference outside the presidential palace due to harassment by his supporters and lack of security.
The media conglomerate Globo and the Folha de São Paulo newspaper said the president’s security details failed to provide adequate protection for journalists covering Bolsonaro.
The right-wing president, who regularly opposes the mainstream media, often stops outside Alvorada Palace in Brasilia in the morning to greet supporters and occasionally speak to the press.
But this informal event sometimes turns tense.
Bolsonaro has been known to harass, insult, and show obscene movements to reporters. His supporters, who were separated from journalists by thin security guards, regularly berated them.
“Every day our journalists experience much humiliation and shouting from supporters of the president, without any security for them,” Globo Group vice president Paulo Tonet Camargo said in a letter to the national security minister announcing the boycott.
“These attacks have increased.”
Folha described the tense environment on Monday as the last straw.
The newspaper said Bolsonaro welcomed the journalists by saying, “When you start telling the truth, I will talk to you again.”
Supporters then start aggressively shouting insults like “Trash!” “Rat!” and “Communist!” in the press, he said.
“The newspaper plans to continue coverage at this location only when the safety of our journalists is guaranteed by the presidential palace,” Folha said.
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