elections 2016: 99 media outlets face lawsuits filed by politicians

The PSDB party is the ranking prepared by champion Abraji, COM16% of all legal claims against media outlets.
29/09/2016 11h51 - Updated 29/09/2016 11h51
Photo: reproduction

The number of lawsuits filed by parties or politicians against media outlets increased in the electoral dispute 2016. Only this year, 99 vehicles face lawsuits. Data from the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) They show that the number already exceeds the number of cases against vehicles registered in all previous elections. Ctrl + X system, Abraji, mapping these lawsuits against the disclosure of information.

"Abraji see with much concern what politicians can do to hinder the exercise of journalism and decided to monitor and map out who the people, olitical, the parties and the states which happen more often this kind of situation ", explains the Ctrl + X project coordinator, Thiago Mali.

From 2002 a 2014, Abraji the system cataloged actions against 63 vehicles driven by political parties and. Adding up every year since 2002, the project has identified actions against 147 publications. The Association pointed out that several of the processes target more than one vehicle. Besides parties, Electoral Prosecutor is also active in proposing lawsuits against media outlets.

"He called attention Abraji that increasingly politicians entered the justice calling for the withdrawal of news and, many times, it was shaping up in harassment or intimidation of journalists. Often these professionals have to answer in court, being diverted from their duties. In smaller or independent newspapers that had no recourse to conduct his defense, we saw that it could cause them to leave to speak for fear or intimidation receive other processes ", highlights

The names of processed vehicles 2016 show that there are at least 53 actions against newspapers and publishers, 18 against blogs, 11 against websites and portals and 14 against radio and TV stations. The processes are well focused. altogether 45% of 311 processes cataloged 2016 target information published on the platforms of Facebook or Google companies. Most companies have only one cataloged proceedings against him.


The PSDB party is the champion prepared with ranking 16% of all legal claims against media outlets. Next comes the PMDB (13%) and or PT (12%). The state of São Paulo is the leader in legalization, representing 16% requests in court, followed by Parana (10%) and Minas Gerais (7%).

altogether, since 2002, the Abraji system accounts 328 lawsuits against media outlets across the country. Candidates for mayor added 37% Proponents of the actions, as well as candidates for the government (23%) and state legislatures (6%). The main claims of the candidates is defamation and violation of electoral law.

Segundo Mali, the creation of the CTRS + X stimulates debate on lawsuits against media outlets. "It is important to map the candidates in the speech defending press freedom, but are the ones that have processes to take air news ", alert.

"Our goal is to try to make society as a whole oversee who uses this instrument [processing press vehicles] as a way to inhibit the action of the press and so that journalists can do their jobs without major obstacles ", full.

News gathering

Only in the elections this year, political candidates tried to collect newspapers, close radio or suspend their schedules at least 34 times. In 27 actions was the request for payment of publications and seven, application for suspension or closure of radio stations.

According Abraji, in most cases the applicants argue that the news and reviews in newspapers offend their honor and are equivalent to negative election advertisements, claiming that publications are seized or are no longer distributed. In some cases, ask for justice to determine that the newspaper stop publishing news in the future that might offend candidates.

prior censorship

Ctrl + X System points out that the 166 judicial requests to the newspaper not to publish news that may offend candidates, 38 They were granted, since 2002. "It's a total of 23%, nearly one in four requests that are made so that there is prior censorship, the end of the day, the judge ends up deferring to be censored. It's good to make it clear that 10% of content removal requests also ask for prior censorship ", says the system coordinator. Only in 2016, 49 requests for prior censorship have been required in the Brazilian justice.

The system can be accessed at Abraji site and allows a series of filters with information on ongoing lawsuits against media outlets.

Thiago Mali, prohibit a journalist to disclose information is “worrying”, because the player has just, in some way, hampered by not knowing everything that's happening. "It is quite worrying us follow this high number of cases. Shows that we, as a society, we have to be alert so that the right of access to information is not hamstrung”, said.

Source: Agency Brazil

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