90 - Brazil
Ownership of mass Media continues to be highly concentrated among a few major companies.
The Grupo Globo conglomerate dominates the media landscape, controlling Brazil’s principal television, cable, and satellite networks as well as several radio stations and print outlets. Another company, Editora Abril, leads Brazil’s magazine market. According to the independent media-monitoring group Media Owners (Donos da Mídia), hundreds of politicians nationwide are either directors or partners in over 300 media companies, most of these being radio or television stations. A Repórteres Sem Fronteiras report mentioned that a great deal of government advertisement led to an interdependency between the Media and the state, which took a toll on the diversity of the Media.
Media diversity is also hampered by the difficulty of obtaining community radio licenses. It can take up to 10 years in some cases to get a license, and only those stations transmitting at less than 25 watts qualify as “community” stations, meaning those transmitting at 25 to 100 watts are often forced to operate illegally.
Brazil has a vibrant democracy with strong constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression. However, violence and impunity persist along with judicial censorship as the principal threats to these guarantees. Three journalists were killed as a direct result of their work in 2013, and a series of protests related to increased bus fares and World Cup construction contributed to high levels of aggression against reporters. Meanwhile, courts continued to issue censorship orders, fines, and jail sentences to critical journalists and bloggers.
The blogosphere has been hit particularly hard by judicial censorship. The Google Transparency report covering January through June 2013 showed that Brazil was second only to the United States on the list of countries with the most government requests to remove online content.