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Indicators for Risks to Media Pluralism

Media Audience Concentration

This indicator assesses the concentration of audience and readership across media platforms based on audience share. Concentration is measured by using the nationwide biggest 4 owners in the market. Presented are the sums of the audience shares based on the GeoPoll surveys for Jan-March 2017.

Result: HIGH RISK (50,24%)

Why?

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
Audience concentration in television (horizontal) 

Percentage:  71,1%  (Source: Kantar Ibope (2016), data for terrestrial television)

  • Grupo Globo: 36,9% (Rede Globo)
  • Grupo Silvio Santos: 14,9% (SBT)
  • Grupo Record: 14,7% (Record TV) / 0,5 (Record News)
  • Grupo Bandeirantes: 4.1% (Band)
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 
Audience concentration in Radio (horizontal) 

Percentage: 20,7% (Data from Pesquisa Brasileira de Mídia 2016)

  • Grupo Jovem Pan: 5,50%
  • Grupo Globo: 5,30%
  • Grupo RBS: 5,00%
  • Grupo Bandeirantes: 4,90%
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 
Readership concentration in newspapers (horizontal) 

Percentage: 50,42% (Source: Instituto Verificador da Comunicação (IVC) 2016 – newspapers) 

  • Grupo Globo: 15,96%
  • Grupo Folha: 12,49%
  • Grupo RBS: 11,15%
  • Grupo Sada: 10,82%
If within one country the major 4 Owners have a readership share below 25%.If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a readership share between 25% and 49%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a readership share above 50%. 
Audience concentration in Internet (horizontal) 

Percentage: 58,75% Source: comScore mediaMetrix 2016 - share (% reach of the digital population). Multiplatform; Category: portal.)

  • Grupo Globo: 73,0%
  • Grupo Folha (UOL): 65,0%
  • Grupo Record (R7): 63,0%
  • Grupo Ongoing Ejesa (IG): 34,0%

In this case, for the percentage of digital population reached (with superpositions), we used an average of the top four. 

If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 

Media Market Concentration

This indicator aims to assess the horizontal ownership concentration based on market share which illustrates the economic power of companies/ groups. Concentration is measured for each media sector by adding the market shares of the major owners in the sector. 

Result:
The media market concentration based on market shares could not be computed. While the Registrar General provides access to some ownership data, financial data (revenue, advertising etc.) was not available a) per media company b) as market share and c) for the media sector.

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
Media market concentration in television (horizontal): This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the TV media sector. 
Percentage: not assessed    
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%. 
Media market concentration in radio (horizontal): This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the Radio media sector.    
Percentage: not assessed    
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 
Media market concentration in newspapers (horizontal) : This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the print  sector.
Percentage: not assessed    
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%. 
Media market concentration in Internet Content Providers 
Percentage: not assessed    
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%.  

Regulatory Safeguards: Media Ownership Concentration

This indicator assesses the existence and effective implementation of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific and/or competition law) against a high horizontal concentration ownership and/or control in the different media. 

Result: HIGH RISK

Why?

There are few mechanisms to limit the so-called horizontal concentration (the control over several vehicles of a same media type). Decree-Law nº 236/1967 determines the maximum number of television grants – 10 in the whole national territory, being a maximum of 5 in the VHF band and 2 by state. Decree-Law 236/1967 establishes that concessionary or permissionary broadcast companies “cannot be submitted to other entities constituted to establish a single directin or orientation, through chains or associations of any kind", but this guideline is not regulated and largely disrespected. Brazilian Media System was formed on the basis of national networks that guarantee control of the head stations (Globo, Record, Bandeirantes, SBT etc..) even if they do not own their affiliates. Decree 52.795/1963, that regulated the Brazilian Telecommunications Code (CBT), sets as a prohibition that a partner of a broadcast services company (in any modality) is also part of the shareholders composition of another grant to provide the same service in the same location. In other words, a single person or company cannot own two stations of the same nature in the acting location of the vehicle (city or region). But this limit is frequently bypassed by means of using different people in the shareholders composition of the stations. One example is the presence of stations Record e RecordNews, both belonging to the same group, in some cities. Regarding fusions, acquisitions and changes on sharehold control, the Ministry of Communications and the National Telecommunications Agency are the responsible organizations for monitoring acts of control and concentration, but without the power to authorize or veto this kind of operation beyond legal prevision.

Decree 9.138/2017, published by Michel Temer’s government, changed Decree 52.795/1963 ending the device that conditioned the direct or indirect permission of concession or the permission to previous consent of the federal government (Art. 90) In the general plan, Brazil has Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica (‘Economic Defense Administrative Council - Cade), responsible for analyzing fusions and acquisitions and investigate monopoly practices. But the action of the Council is very timid in the Media Market. Also, there is no clarity in the legislation about the hierarchy of prerogatives between Cade (in the general scope) and MCTIC and Anatel (in the specific scope). Cade also does not use any criteria based on specific aspects of the sector, such as the concern for plurarity. In the printed press and on the internet, there is no limit to any horizontal concentration, leaving only the acting possibilities of Cade. Regarding control, broadcasting stations may have foreign agents in their shareholders composition, but up to a maximum of 30%.

Regulatory Safeguard Score: 
Analyzed Aspects: 54, Safeguards: 5, Score: 9,25%

 

Table summarizes TV/Radio/Online/Print - Max. score: 4 per sector.    DescriptionYesNoNAMD

Does the media legislation contain specific thresholds or limits, based on objective criteria (e.g. number of licenses, audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue) to prevent a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in this sector?    

This question aims to assess the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific) against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the TELEVISION/RADIO sector.    

 2 (TV, Radio)

  x (Internet, Print)

 

Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with the thresholds in the print sector and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority)?    

This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system for the regulation on audiovisual media concentration.    

 1 (TV)

  X

Does the law grant this body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?    

The variable aims at assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as:

- Refusal of additional licences;

- Blocking of a merger or acquisition;

- Obligation to allocate windows for third party programming;

- Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors;

- divestiture.    

 

  X

  

Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?    

This indicator aims to assess the effective implementation of sector-specific remedies against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the television media.    

High Risk (0)

Total 

 2 of 16

 

Media MergersDescriptionYesNoNAMD

Can a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the media sector be prevented via merger control/competition rules that take into account the specificities of the media sector?    

This question aims to access the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector specific and/or competition law) against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the media sector through merging operations: 

- By containing media-specific provision that impose stricter thresholds than in other sectors;

- The mandatory intervention of a media authority in merger and acquisition cases (for instance, the obligation for the competition authority to ask the advice of the media authority);

- The possibility to overrule the approval of a concentration by the communication authority for reasons of media pluralism (or public interest in general), that - even tough they do not contain media-specific provisions - do not exclude the media sector from their scope of application. 

  X

Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with rules on mergers and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority)?    

This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system.    

    X

Does the law grant this body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?    

The variable aims of assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as; 

- Blocking of a merger or acquisition; 

- obligation to allocate windows for third party programming;

- Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors;

- divestiture

     X

Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?    

This indicator aims to assess the effective implementation of sector-specific remedies against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the television media.    

High Risk (0)

Total 

0 of 4

 

Cross-media Ownership Concentration

This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership across the different sectors – TV, print, audio, and any other relevant media – of the media industry. Cross-media concentration is measured by adding up the market shares of the Top media companies. In this case, market shares were as unavailable as financial data in general. Cross-media ownership was instead calculated on the basis of weighted audience shares for the print, radio, TV market. Audience shares for online outlets were not available. The results are not an indicator for economic strength in different media sectors but rather for the potential influence on public opinion when considering all media types.

Result: HIGH

Why?

Cross property is a central dimension in Brazilian media concentration. Grupo Globo, for example, has vehicles or networks with a central role in open TV markets (Rede Globo, audience leader), cable TV (with the content generated by the subsidiary GloboSat, including GloboNews and dozens of other channels), Internet (with the largest Brazilian news portal, Globo.com), Rádio (two of their networks, Globo AM/FM and CBN, are among the ten largest audiences). Grupo Globo also operates in the recording and publishing markets. The same is true for other groups like Record (RecordTV and RecordNews, on open TV; newspaper Correio do Povo and the R7 portal among the largest in the country) and RBS (with a Rio Grande do Sul affiliate of Globo on open TV, two newspapers among those of larger circulation – Zero Hora and Diário Gaúcho – besides other print publications, two radio networks, national Gaúcha Sat and regional Atlântida, ClicRBS online portal, and many other investments in digital media).

In the absence of relative market participation, MOM’s methodology proposes the use of audience data to measure cross property concentration levels, adding up the four largest groups in audience. We have thus organized the data, not considering internet audiences (for which we have the digital population percentages reached by the portals, and many of the groups have largely accessed portals) and cable TV. The data have been weighted according to the participation in each type of media in Brazilian’s consuming habits, measured by Pesquisa Brasileira de Mídia 2016. The weighted sum of the groups’ radio and TV audiences and print vehicles readership gives 74.7%.

Grupo Globo alone concentrates 43.86% of the audience, not considering their internet participation with the most accessed portal in Brazil. In that direction, Grupo Globo launched a campaign in October, 2017 stating that they reach 100 million Brazilians daily, around half of the Brazilian population, with the cross property of different vehicles.

Score:

LOWMEDIUMHIGH

Percentage: 74.7%

If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have a market share below 50% across the different media sectors. If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have an audience share between 50% and 69% across the different media sectors. If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have a market share above 70% across the different media sectors. 

 SOURCES:

Leaders (2016), Lancement de Nessma Mobile

Regulatory Safeguards: Cross-media Ownership Concentration

This indicator aims to assess the existence and effective implementation of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific and/or competition law) against a high degree of cross-ownership between media types (press, TV, radio, internet). 

Result: MEDIUM RISK 

Why?

In the case of vertical concentration (when an entity or group controls different stages of the productive chain, such as production, programming and distribution) and of cross property ( when a group controls media in different markets), the only law to address the issue is Lei nº12.485/2011, which regulates paid TV under the Serviço de Acesso Condicionado (Conditioned Access Service). It prevents the control and property relation between radio broadcast and video production/distribution, and of telecommunications of collective interest, as phone, internet and cable TV services, for example.
Thus, these two kinds of agents of the audiovisual sector and entities which own concession and permission for radio broadcast can’t control more than 50% of the collective interest telecommunication participation operator’s social capital. Conversely, these telecommunication operators are not allowed to have larger than 30% participation of the total and voting capital of radio broadcast companies. In this example, concentration is defined by the shareholding participation only, and not by the number of licenses.
The Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações (National Telecommunications Agency) can block a fusion or acquisition or stop the grant of new licenses if the entities in question disrespect the limits established by Law 12.485/2011. The law also predicts the obligation to dedicate programming time to audiovisual content, but only in some channels that offer access conditioned audiovisual communication (SeAC). The same law predicts punishments by regulatory authorities for programmers who don’t fulfill these quotas. Besides Anatel (National Agency for Telecommunications), the Economic Defense Administrative Council (Cade) can evaluate merges and acquisitions or investigate anti competition practices. However, it should be noted that there aren’t any mechanisms preventing the control of broadcasting companies (either radio or TV) and print media. Based on that lack of legal basis, the Brazilian media system was organized on cross property of vehicles, reinforcing concentration in the hands of a few groups both in national and regional scales. There are no legal or normative basis regarding journalistic activities for online distribution in terms of limitations to concentration or the need for previous authorization from any competent authorities for acquisition, merges or other similar events. This is valid only for property and control relations between radio broadcast and audiovisual production/programming and collective interest communications, according to Law nº 12.485/2011.


Regulatory Safeguard Score: 
8 of 13 (Percentage – 61%)

Ownership Transparency

This indicator verifies the data transparency for media owner’s political affiliations, considering transparency of property to be an essential requirement for reinforcing pluralism in the media.

RESULT: MEDIUM TO HIGH RISK

WHY?
Transparency is evaluated, according to MOM’s methodology, considering “active transparency” scenarios (where data would be available on both media and companies sides, accurately and transparently); and “passive” (when the companies don’t publicize their information, but respond to information requests); an intermediary scenario, where, despite the absence of transparency initiatives stemming from the companies, there are public data available; and scenarios with no available data and an explicit attempt to conceal media property.

Thus, MOM’s methodology predicts, among other paths to obtain and verify property data, a consultation process to information made available by the companies, as well as the soliciting of information, with a determined waiting time and a second request when the first isn’t answered. MOM Brazil’s team followed that procedure for the owners of the 50 vehicles evaluated, but didn’t receive any positive answer. We go in details about this situation in the discussion about transparency challenges. Among the few received answers, one of them said: “for strategical reasons, the solicited information is not public.”

The pathways available for the acquisition of these data are tortuous, limited and not very transparent. As the indicator D7 (“Regulatory Safeguards: Ownership Transparency”) points out, the are no legal or constitutional mechanisms available which require public service provider companies which benefit from public concessions, such as broadcast (radio and TV) companies, to publicize their information. Even if those companies should legally update their shareholding constitution in Commercial Registries and Notary Offices, there are no efficient transparency and information access policies for following this information. Besides, as the Registries are of local or regional (state) character, the access possibilities to this information oscillates according to the state or municipality in question – in many of them, every consultation costs an amount close to 60 dollars.

The existing information system with data about radio and TV concession ownership do not guarantee up to date data, nor the possibility to effectively arrive at individual owners. As the companies, in general, have no transparency initiatives of their own, the barriers include the existence of numerous legal entities connected to these companies.

Finally, despite the fact that, in most cases, it has been possible for MOM investigators to arrive at the ownership data, through complex and indirect pathways, made even more obscure for the general public, the absence of responses to information requests and the difficulties with the available information systems point to a medium to high risk for ownership transparency, according to the methodology definitions below.

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
How would you assess the transparency and accessibility of data about the media ownership?

Data on media owners as well as their political affiliations is publicly available and transparent.

(Active Transparency)

Data of media owners and their political affiliations are disclosed based on investigations of journalists and media activists or upon request.

(Passive Transparency, Data Publicity Available)

Data on political affiliation of media owners are not easily accessible by the public and investigative journalists or activists are not successful in disclosing these data.

(Data Unavailable, Active Disguise)

Regulatory Safeguards: Ownership Transparency

This indicator aims to analyze the existence and the implantation of legislation devices (both in the communication field and in general) that guarantee transparency practices and the availability of information regarding media ownership and control.

Result: HIGH RISK

Why?

In Brazil the normative planning of public administration does not establish a specific legal or constitutional device that determines the obligatoriness of information publishing – regarding corporate structure, shareholders composition and board of directors – by providers of granted public services whose category includes the broadcast of sounds and images. Regarding the specific case of radio broadcast, companies must report to the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC) the changes in shareholders composition, fusions and acquisitions. However, the publishing is not mandatory. The changes in control involving foreign capital have a specific treatment on legislation. Information provided by the operators are made available in National Telecommunication Agency’s databases called “interactive systems”. Among them are Sistema de Acompanhamento de Controle Acionário (‘Shareholders Control Surveillance System’ - Siacco), that brings the Stations’ shareholders composition, and Sistema de Informação dos Serviços de Comunicação de Massa (‘Mass Communication Services Information System’ - Siscom), that makes available information on the providers of each broadcasting service allowing consultation by service modality or location (states or cities). The law nº 10.610/2002 determines that, until the last day of each year, companies must communicate, to commercial registration organizations (boards) or civil registration of juridical persons (registry offices) the shareholders composition. However, neither commercial boards or registry offices have transparency or information access policies effective enough to serve as tools for public control. Besides that, as they have local or regional character (state), the access possibilities to these information vary according to the city or state where they are.

 Regulatory Safeguard Score: 

1 out of 6 – High Risk (Regulation: 16,6 %).

IndicatorDescriptionYesNoMDNA

Does national (media, company, tax...) law contain transparency and disclosure provisions obliging media companies to publish their ownership structures on their website or in records/documents that are accessible to the public?

The aim of the question is to check regulatory safeguard for transparency towards the citizens, the users and the public in general. 

 X   

Does national (media, company, tax...) law contain transparency and disclosure provisions obliging media companies to report (changes in) ownership structures to public authorities (such as the media authority)?

The aim of the question is to check regulatory safeguard for accountability and transparency towards public authorities.

 X   

Is there an obligation by national law to disclose relevant information after every change in ownership structure?

This question aims at assessing if the law provides rules on the public availability of accurate and up-to-date data on media ownership. This is a condition for an effective transparency.

 X   

Are there any sanctions in case of non-respect of disclosure obligations?

This question aims at assessing if the law on media ownership transparency can be enforced through the application of sanctions.       

 X    

Do the obligations ensure that the public knows which legal or natural person effectively owns or controls the media company?

This question aim at assessing the effectiveness of the laws that deal with media ownership transparency and if they succeed in disclosing the real owners of the media outlets.    

Risk    

(Political) Control Over Media Outlets and Distribution Networks

This indicator evaluates the risk of political affiliation and control over media network and distribution. It also evaluates the discriminatory level by network of political distribution of affiliate media. Discriminatory actions might include, for example, unfavorable prices and barriers for media access to distribution channels. Political affiliations are considered when the media or company belongs to a party, a group connected to a party, a party leader or someone clearly connected to a party.

RESULT: MEDIUM TO HIGH RISK

WHY?
As it is possible to infer in the text about media and politicians relations in Brazil, the relations of political affiliation are present in many ways, not always directly in the formal ownership of big groups. Few of the big national media groups have a public officer among their current owners – as is the case of the Medioli family, with Vittorio Medioli. Other families, such as Câmara, Faria and Mesquita, are families that have already had elected politicians and important political positions in the country. The Macedo family, which controls Record and Igreja Universal (IURD), also has a political party under its control, the PRB (Brazilian Republican Party).

Besides that, there is a considerable number of politicians who own or are shareholders of communication media. On a federal scale, 32 federal deputies and 8 senators are currently direct partners of broadcasters. The affiliate network phenomenon is central to these political associations. The big networks exert their power locally through affiliation relations, where local broadcast transmit most of their programming originated at the network heads, and also feed the national networks with local information. In most cases, these affiliates are owned by local and regional groups led by politicians or families of political tradition that generally own more than one vehicle. This media ownership political control phenomenon has been called, in academia and in the public debate, “coronelismo eletrônico”. Many examples of these cases are present in our text about political affiliations.

This phenomenon is also present in many of the local media. There are researches that identify a political connection in at least half (1,106) of the 2,205 investigated community radio stations.

Besides, considering the vehicles and networks controlled by Empresa Brasileira de Comunicação (EBC- Brazilian Communication Company), it is also possible to state that there is a relevant political affiliation. The difference is that it doesn’t refer to a control through ownership, but through the rigging of the public environment through political indication of the company’s directors.

Given this scenario, even though one can’t claim the direct ownership of politicians in many cases, we understand there is a medium to high risk of political control of vehicles and distribution networks.

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
What is the share of TV/radio/internet/print media owned by politically affiliated entities? 
The media having <30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation. The media having <50% - >30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.  The media having >50% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.
How would you assess the conduct of the leading distribution networks for print media? 
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions. At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions
How would you assess the conduct of the leading radio distribution networks? 
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions. At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions
How would you assess the conduct of the leading television distribution networks? 
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions.At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actionsAll of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions

(Political) Control Over Media Funding

This indicator verifies the political influence in the discrimination of state advertisement publicity and other sources of state financing for the media. This discrimination can reflect “favoritism” for some political affiliations and correlated business interests, or by penalizing government criticism by the media. What is understood under state advertisement are all advertisements paid by governments and other companies and institutions controlled by the state.

RESULT: HIGH RISK

Why?
The absence of a legal framework that regulates fund use for state advertisement in media, combined to selective uses of these funds to buy editorial support for government actions, reveal a high risk of political control and silencing of criticism through the allocation of these funds.

The Normative Instruction defines the so-called technical criteria (Article 8) according to which a) technical market research and data should be used to identify and select the most adequate programming, according to each publicity action’s characteristics, b) investments destined to each vehicle should consider the respective audiences, based, whenever possible, in market technical data, researches or media studies and c) be oriented by a wide programming always when other vehicles with regular situation exist in the Midiacad.

However, cross reference of audience data and advertisement allocation reveal wide contradictions in the so called “technical” criteria. A sample of our universe of vehicles has been analyzed in relation to discrimination of advertisement grants, based on data solicited through the Lei de Acesso à Informação (Public Information Access Law) and organized by journalists of website Poder360.

The analysis shows significant distortions in 2016: as an example, Veja magazine (Grupo Abril) received 50% more in relation to their readership; O Globo newspaper (Grupo Globo), 66% more; and Época magazine (Grupo Globo) 83% above their proportional readership. The TV Band network (Grupo Bandeirantes) received advertisement funds which correspond to 95% more than what would be proportional to their audience. In the same direction, a survey by Blog O Cafezinho, revealed the raise in funds destination for vehicles that supported the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff and Temer’s government: the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo received a 121% raise, the newspaper Estado de S. Paulo, a 229% raise, Revista Época, 252%, Revista Veja, 489%, TV Record, 510% and Revista IstoÉ, 1384%. In 2017, a single campaign, the government’s campaign for the approval of the social security reform, used up R$ 100 million, 55% of the total predicted for publicity campaigns in the year, R$ 180 million.

Also in the state and municipal scales there are accusations of other forms of arbitrary state financing, such as the subscription of magazines without a public bid for the distribution in schools.

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
Is the state advertising distributed to media proportionately to their audience share? 
State advertising is distributed to the media relatively proportionately to the audience shares of media     State advertising is distributed disproportionately (in terms of audience share) to the media State advertising is  distributed exclusively to few media outlets, which do not cover all major media outlets in the country
How would you assess the rules of distribution of state advertising?    
State advertising is distributed to media outlets based on transparent rules. State advertising is distributed to media outlets based on a set of rules but it is unclear whether they are transparent. There are no rules regarding distribution of state advertising to media outlets or these
What is the share of state advertising as part of the overall advertising market?    
Share of state advertising is <5% of the overall market Share of state advertising is 5%-10% of the overall market Share of state advertising is > 10% of the overall market

(Political) Control Over News Agencies

This indicator evaluates the reach and autonomy of competing news agencies, including an evaluation of state control of ownership and the autonomy level for state news agencies.

RESULT: HIGH RISK

Although there aren’t available data about the market division of agencies operating in Brazil and the existing data only allow us to deal with part of the issues demanded by this indicator, it is possible to identify a high risk.

As the news agencies researcher Pedro Aguiar demonstrates, there aren’t any studies published that quantify in absolute terms the size and relevance in media of Brazilian news agencies. Different agencies might be considered “the largest” in Brazil, depending on the adopted measurement criteria. According to commercial revenue criteria, operational structure and marketed information volume, the position is held by Agência Estado (AE), owned by Grupo OESP. Besides the news service aimed at newspapers, online portals, cell phone apps and indoor media services (lift TV monitors, buses, witing rooms), AE offers a specific service with information about the stock market, called Broadcast. The company claims to have 12 thousand subscribers for this service alone, most of them individuals, not media. However, the adoption of criteria which privileges the number of newspapers or media vehicles which make use of, reproduce or quote an agency’s content would very likely give the title to Agência Brasil (Abr), considering this agency makes their content available for free. Abr news are quoted by numerous regional and local media vehicles (newspapers, portals, radio stations) throughout the country, besides alternative media in larger cities, which, in both cases, have limited budgets available for paying private agency subscriptions such as AE, Folhapress and Agência O Globo. Let it be noted that these vehicle’s relation with Abr is not a customer relation, as there is no buying of or payment for content, but rather a user relation. All of Abr production (in texts, photos, audio and video) is accessible in a restricted access area in their website, “Central de Conteúdo”, with free, unrestricted and automatic registration. The quantifying of market slices also faces problems of methodological nature. As many newspapers and media vehicles subscribe to services of more than one agency, the addition of all the slices would amount to more than 100%.

Among the characteristics of the news agencies market in Brazil, it is important to note that, as in other countries, there is a significant presence of the three transnational agencies in Brazilian news – AFP, AP and Reuters. They also provide information about Brazil to international media. These transnational agencies, following a global trend, establish an asymmetrical relation with national groups, sending a much more substantial information volume.

Besides the international agencies, the four larger agencies taken into account in this analysis were Folha Agência Estado (AE), of Grupo OESP; Agência Brasil, of the state-owned company EBC; Folhapress (FP), of Grupo Folha; and Agência O Globo (AOG), of Grupo Globo.

The Brazilian news agencies model is “aimed for the inside”, in order to feed the internal news market. This model has followed, for a long while, a significant media concentration in national conglomerates. Thus, autonomous and dedicated news agencies weren’t created, only agencies connected to these conglomerates – in this case, to three large Brazilian groups which own the main private news agencies (AE, FP and AOG).

The large private groups reinforce their concentration of media power using their connections with local and regional media groups, a good number of which are controlled by politicians and regional oligarchy families, besides a significant number of families of deputies, senators, governors and other politicians, as MOM information reveals. In the case of news agencies, these local and regional political groups feed conglomerates and their local news agencies and also receive information from them, which gives them competition advantage against other local groups. In this circularity there is an important dimension of information political control by the news agencies (as the researcher Pedro Aguiar points out), which leads us to evaluate the sector’s risk as high, regarding private companies.

Regarding the state-owned company’s (EBC) news agency, Agência Brasil, it should be noted that since Michel Temer’s arrival to the presidency, there are many indications that the Temer government’s editorial interference has been growing. After the agency’s and EBC’s restructuring, it was possible to observe a less balanced coverage in some moments, as when the biggest accusation against Temer became public, when the agency’s news site only showed Temer’s version. Although it is an agency project with the purpose of producing a journalism of public interest, and not only governmental coverage, and that it had previously been possible to observe a plurality of voices even during government crisis, the new management seems to point toward a less plural direction and a stronger interference in the agency’s information content.

Thus, most of the large Brazilian news agencies are not in a politically independent scenario and the risk of political control and affiliation in the agencies is high.

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
What is the market share of the leading news agency?    
No news agency dominates the market (occupy >30% of the market of news agencies).  One news agency has <50% ?30% share of the market of news agencies.  The leading news agency has >50% market share.
How would you evaluate the political affiliation and/or dependence of the largest news agency?    
None of the largest news agencies is dependent on political groupings in terms of ownership, affiliation of key personnel or editorial policy. At least one of the largest news agencies is dependent on political groupings in terms of ownership, affiliation of key personnel or editorial policy. Most or all of the largest news agencies is dependent on political groupings in terms of ownership, affiliation of key personnel or editorial policy.
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