“A good guy isn’t the one who privatizes”, says the last headline in the printed edition of Brasil de Fato MG. Declaredly a defender of rights related to improving the lives of the working class, this month the newspaper completes ten years of existence and continuous operation in the state.
The trajectory is one of the longest when it comes to popular non-commercial newspapers. The initiative was born in 2013 to meet a real need in the state, the production of news not linked to the economic elite, as pointed out by Frederico Santana, member of the newspaper’s editorial board.
“In 2013, we held many plenary sessions of popular movements fighting against neoliberalism in the state, the PSDB governments of Aécio Neves and Antonio Anastasia, and the demand for communication was always very strong”, he recalls.
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“At the time there was shielding from the media regarding the government’s proposals to downsize the state, privatization and withdrawal of rights. Brasil de Fato MG came as a clear need for dialogue with society”, he points out.
Ten years later, the scenario seems not to have changed much. The Minas Gerais media continues to be linked to the interests of the state’s political, economic and business elite, made up of a few families, as assessed by the president of the Minas Gerais Journalists Union, Lina Rocha. In this context, popular media becomes even more relevant.
“To fulfill the function provided for in the Constitution, which is to raise issues that are of public interest, which are often not addressed by mass media outlets. In alternative and free media, we can raise issues such as workers’ rights, the precariousness of forms of work, scrapping, uberization, which is the current work model”, he comments.
“We can do this in a way that better meets society’s desires”, adds Lina.
In Brasil de Fato MG, both the choice of agendas and the definition of editorial lines are made in conjunction with organized society. This guarantees greater representation and is one of the reasons for the vehicle’s longevity, according to the newspaper’s editor, Larissa Costa.
“Brasil de Fato MG only got here because of the partnerships we built over time, especially with popular movements here in the state. Since 2003, 20 years ago, our history has already involved our relationship with popular movements in the countryside and the city,” he recalls.
“The movements are with us throughout the entire process of producing our content. We are very proud to have maintained this trajectory and to have built a communication proposal that is collective in defining agendas, political lines and distribution”, he highlights.
Despite having left the tucan era, the state of Minas Gerais was impacted by the neoliberal and far-right wave that reached space throughout the country. The current governor of Minas Gerais, Romeu Zema (Novo), re-elected, brings a series of policies aligned with unpopular interests.
In Frederico Santana’s view, in the next period, Brasil de Fato MG continues to be necessary as a counter-hegemonic media, which gives voice to popular and union movements.
“The newspaper plays an important role both in reporting and announcing other possible conditions to improve people’s lives”, he states.
Source: BdF Minas Gerais
Editing: Larissa Costa