Brazil leads world in Covid-19 deaths among journalists

journalists coronavirus brazil
Press conference in Rio de Janeiro, May 2020. Photo: Photocarioca/Shutterstock

A new report by Brazil’s National Federation of Journalists (Fenaj) shows that 169 journalists died of Covid-19 between April 2020 and March 2021, more than any country in the world.

In the past three months alone, 86 journalists died after contracting the coronavirus — more than the entirety of 2020. 

Journalists are considered essential workers in Brazil, in accordance with a government-issued decree from March 2020. Many reporters are put at risk by their own sources. 

Speaking to The Brazilian Report, Brasília correspondents for multiple outlets have expressed concerns about covering the ins and outs of politics, especially as many politicians are among the most outspoken coronavirus-skeptics.

These fears came to a head on March 18, when Senator Major Olímpio died of complications following a Covid-19 infection. Days before testing positive, the late senator circulated freely within the Congress building.