By Lisandra Paraguassu | Reuters
BRAZIL – Four of Brazil’s biggest media outlets say they have pulled journalists from coverage of President Jair Bolsonaro’s official residence on the right wing because of a lack of security to protect them from ridicule and abuse by his supporters.
Organizações Globo, the owner of the country’s largest network, TV Globo, as well as the newspapers O Globo and Valor Economico, joined TV Bandeirantes and the major circulation daily Folha de S.Paulo and Estado de S.Paulo and decided on Monday night to postpone coverage for currently at the Alvorada Palace.
Bolsonaro has made it a habit to stop at the entrance of the residence to talk to cheering supporters, bring narcissists with them and make comments to journalists.
But in recent days his supporters at the gate have attacked reporters with angry verbal attacks. On Monday, about 60 supporters denounced reporters loudly, with the cry of “liar,” “trash” and “communist.”
Attacks on journalists have intensified when Bolsonaro’s political situation worsened under criticism because of a mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis that has killed more than 20,000 Brazilians and paralyzed the economy. He is also under investigation for allegedly meddling in law enforcement and his supporters see the media as part of a plan to overthrow him.
On 3 May, angry protesters at a pro-Bolsonaro demonstration in Brasilia dropped a photographer from the stairs and kicked and punched him on the ground.
Folha said she would continue reporting only when guarantees were given to ensure the safety of journalists.
Globo said in a statement sent to Bolsonaro’s national security adviser, Augusto Heleno, that “aggression” had increased and that journalists would no longer go to the residence because it was not safe.
The Heleno Office said in a statement that it regularly studied the situation and had taken “adequate steps to ensure adequate security.”
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