Power

Brazilian lawmakers turn public TV into misinformation tool

Public TV stations in Brazil have failed to combat misinformation and reporters are discouraged from stories that could paint the government in a bad light

Senator Marcos Rogério complained after TV Senado chyrons corrected misinformation he tried to relay
Senator Marcos Rogério complained after TV Senado chyrons corrected misinformation he tried to relay. Photo: Marcos Oliveira/SF/CC-BY 4.0

Brazil’s Senate TV station (TV Senado) was created in February 1996 as a means to increase the transparency of legislative work and bring Brasília’s lawmakers closer to the rest of the country. It began with just 15 hours of programming per day, but would become known to Brazilians a year later through its live broadcasts of a congressional inquiry to investigate irregularities in government securities, which dominated political discussions in 1997.

Since then, TV Senado has expanded to reach some 40 million households, also boasting a YouTube channel with almost 1 million subscribers and over 162 million views. Beyond...

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