Tsavkko Garcia, Raphael
Publication year: 2020

The majority of Brazil’s population is Black and mixed-race. That same population also makes up the majority of the country’s poorest and most excluded communities in the outskirts and favelas of major cities. Black and mixed-race Brazilians are 2.7 times more likely than their White counterparts to be murdered, and they constitute more than three quarters of homicide victims in the country.

A longstanding media crisis only exacerbates such patterns. Nearly two-thirds of all municipalities in Brazil qualify as “news deserts,” areas where there is little to no local coverage. Outlets with national reach end up being a community’s primary sources of news, but rarely address relevant issues in that community — such as the lack of food at a city’s public schools or untenable lines at health care institutions. Instead, national outlets only show up to report on violence, criminalizing, and even blaming residents.

The result is a fun house mirror of sorts, skewing residents’ realities and reflecting back a distorted version of their lives. “News deserts directly affect subjects’ understanding of reality,” says Wellington Hack, a journalist and researcher at Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. “Allied to this issue, we still have socioeconomic problems that a large part of the population — especially in developing countries — faces, such as poverty and difficult access to education.”

Full article at Level’s Medium page. Date of publication: 22/04/2020.

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