Online Journalism Atlas: online journalism in Brazil

In the first part of the Online Journalism Atlas, Gabriela Zago looks at online journalism in Brazil. Got any information about your own country’s online journalism? Add it here.

Online journalism in Brazil has grown a lot in the last few years, especially in the last 12 months. Many websites have changed their models recently, going from a traditional style to a more “web 2.0” concept. The community participation and the use of new tools are growing since then. Blogs are a constant.

News are produced on portals like Terra (http://www.terra.com.br) and IG (http://ultimosegundo.ig.com.br). These websites don’t have a great journalism tradition, but they manage to have a good audience on the web anyway. Both have spaces for readers to participate (vc reporter – http://www.terra.com.br/vcreporter/ – at Terra, Minha Noticia – http://minhanoticia.ig.com.br/ – on IG).

Websites from big news organizations, like Folha Online (http://www.folha.com.br) and Estadão (http://www.estadao.com.br) (both from São Paulo and with a print tradition) and Globo.comhttp://www.globo.com) (Globo dominates the TV media in Brazil) have changed their pages recently. And they seem to focus now more on interation. (

Globo has also G1 (http://www.g1.com.br), a news website that was launched last year, and is growing fast. The interesting part of G1 is that they can provide videos to illustrate the news, since Globo has a big TV coverage.

On September 19th, another online journal launched a new page, Zero Hora (http://www.zerohora.com.br) from Porto Alegre. Previously the site only offered an online version of the print newspaper; now they have blogs, real-time news coverage, and a channel for readers to participate.

The online journal Estadão ended up with a bad image among bloggers after releasing an ad campaign that compared bloggers to monkeys (http://br.youtube.com/watch?v=vTA26q7zlE4), on July. They generated a big debate over credibility on the web after it. People are still discussing it a lot on their blogs.

User participation seems to be the new trend around here. All news organizations that changed their websites in the last three months (Folha Online, Estadão, Globo.com, Zero Hora) have added spaces for readers to participate, through comments on the news or even by allowing them to ‘produce news’ (although most of the time this “participation” is limited to sending a text, or a picture, that will have to pass through the hands of a journalist before being published).

Print newspapers and TV still have a big role in Brazil, but people are consuming more and more news online. Mobile has low participation, but this might change in the future, since a lot of research is being done on the subject.

A lot of websites have changed lately, but there are few making real innovations. The examples are isolated, like G1 and Estadão – which have news distributed in Second Life – and IG – which sends updates via Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/ultimosegundo).

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