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German Palomeque Bachelor Thesis

Brazil and its mass media conglomeration as a case of study: The role of media in political representations. Photography program Winter Semester 2019/20 Mat. Number: 98324221

Raffaele Gallo (So M.A.) Prof. Michael Danner


Declaration I declare that the following bachelor’s thesis on Brazil and its mass media conglomeration as a case of study has been written only by the undersigned and without any assistance from third parties. Furthermore, I confirm that no sources have been used in the preparation of this thesis other than those indicated within the thesis itself.

German Palomeque Berlin, November 2019


Abstract This thesis investigates the cover photographs of three different Brazilian magazines, with regards to the question of how political actors of the Worker’s Party are displayed according to the editorial’s leaning. Considering the broad reach and massive impact of these editorial groups on public opinion, it appears necessary to analyze this question, especially in times of political turmoil and social disturbance. The timeframe and focus of the analysis are set between 2011 and 2017, a period when Brazil witnessed three major historical events: The imprisonment of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, as well as the election and later impeachment of the country’s first female president Dilma Vana Rouseff. To comparatively analyze each cover’s representation of these political events, the qualitative method of visual content analysis is applied. Thereby, the findings provide evidence that three of the magazines are political biased, with Veja and Época presenting a clear tendency to portray the PT’s party members in a rather unfavorable way, contrasting with CartaCapital that display these political actors in a more favorable manner.


Table of Contents 1.Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 2 1. Theoretical framework: An overview of Brazil major political events and its players ......... 3 1.1 A brief overview on Brazil’s political and economic main events ................................................................ 3 1.2 The worker’s party and the Brazil major political events of the last twenty years ....................................... 4 1.2.1 Influence of Media in public opinions ....................................................................................................... 6 1.2.2 Mass media concentration and its players in Brazil .................................................................................. 6 1.2.2.2 Grupo Abril ........................................................................................................................................ 7 1.2.2.3 CartaCapital ....................................................................................................................................... 8

2. Methodology explanation and Brazilian magazine’s covers analysis ................................... 8 2.1.1 Theory on the visual content analysis ........................................................................................................ 8 2.1.2 Variables and values applied for this analysis .......................................................................................... 9 2.1.2 Unit of analysis ........................................................................................................................................ 11 2.1.2.1 Insights of Veja magazine ................................................................................................................ 11 2.1.2.2 Insights of Época magazine ............................................................................................................. 11 2.1.2.3 Insights of CartaCapital magazine ................................................................................................... 12 2.2 Conducting an analysis of three major political events .............................................................................. 12 2.2.1 Dilma’s presidential assumption day .................................................................................................. 13 2.2.1.1 Dilma’s presidential assumption day by Época ............................................................................... 13 2.2.1.2 Dilma’s presidential assumption day by CartaCapital................................................................. 15 2.2.1.3 Dilma’s presidential assumption day by Veja ............................................................................. 17 2.2.2 Dilma’s Impeachment process ............................................................................................................ 18 2.2.2.1 Dilma’s Impeachment process by Época .................................................................................... 18 2.2.2.2 Dilma’s Impeachment process by CartaCapital .......................................................................... 20 2.2.2.3 Dilma’s Impeachment process by Veja ....................................................................................... 22 2.2.3 Lula da Silva’s imprisonment ............................................................................................................. 23 2.2.3.1 Lula da Silva’s imprisonment by Época...................................................................................... 23 2.2.3.1 Lula da Silva’s imprisonment by CartaCapital............................................................................ 25 2.2.3.3 Lula da Silva’s imprisonment by Veja ........................................................................................ 27 2.3 Analysis’s findings ...................................................................................................................................... 28 2.3.1 Dilma’s Assumption day..................................................................................................................... 28 2.3.2 Dilma’s Impeachment ......................................................................................................................... 29 2.3.3 Lula’s Imprisonment ........................................................................................................................... 29 2.3.4 Finding’s final remarks ....................................................................................................................... 30

3. Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 31 4. Bibliography ........................................................................................................................ 33 4.1 Online Sources............................................................................................................................................ 33 4.2 Eassys in journals ....................................................................................................................................... 33 4.3 Monographs ................................................................................................................................................ 33 4.3 Images ........................................................................................................................................................ 34

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1.Introduction How does media construct the image of a public figure that we have never met before? There are several ways that editorial groups can convey an impression of a public figure: it could be through a photo you see on a magazine cover, a video that you watch on the news, or through a newspaper article. Whichever the medium is, as a photography student, I strongly believe that we should not diminish the importance of photography in visual representations. Especially considering that media’s way of representing is biased towards their own interest (Damgaard, 2018). This has been the topic of a previous work of mine, where I analyze how two newspapers represent two important political figures in my home-country Argentina. Since that study, my interest regarding the role of media in political representations increased and motivated me to extend my research to a country loaded of critical recent events. Within the last decade, Brazil witnessed the first female president assuming power, followed by her impeachment five years later. In 2018, the first presidential imprisonment of the country’s history took effect. These three major political events constitute a framework to reflect on how two political actors are represented through certain editorial groups: I will analyze and compare the cover photographs of the Brazilian magazines Época, CartaCapital and Veja in regard to their portrayal of two expresidents members from the same political party (Dilma Vana Rouseff and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva) in these events. This study thereby aims to contribute to the field of research that deals with the impact of media on public opinion, a topic that is nowadays especially important because of all the political turmoil around the world, and especially in South America. It is important to critically reflect on the objectivity of the information that the public receives through media. Political decisions can be influenced by the way this information is presented, and the voting decisions in turn shape the country’s history (Barrett and Lowell W. Barrington, 2005).

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1. Theoretical framework: An overview of Brazil major political events and its players Understanding a country’s history is as a pre-condition for a better interpretation of its recent events. Therefore, in this chapter, I will firstly give a brief overview on the Brazilian history with special emphasis on the three major political events that this paper is focused on. As these events are related to the Worker’s Party, in the following section I will provide further information regarding this specific party and their link with the political scandals that are represented in the covers that will later be analyzed. Lastly, I will comment on the importance of media in public opinions and introduce the editorial groups that own the magazines of this case study.

1.1 A brief overview on Brazil’s political and economic main events Brazil was conquered by Portugal in 1500. During the first fifty years of the 16th century, noblemen from Portugal arrived in the country introducing sugar cane plantations and cattle. After the unsuccessful attempt of forcing indigenous people to work in these plantations’ slaves were brought from Africa (Milward & Rowe, 2001). About 300 years later in 1822, Brazil declared its independence. From that point on, the country was ruled as a monarchy till 1888 when, along with vast European migration, new ideas for the form of political government arrived. This led to the creation of the “United States of Brazil”, a federal system similar to the US model, with an elected Congress, a House of Representatives and a senate in 1889 (Milward & Rowe, 2001). In 1964, after a series of ineffective democratic governments, the military elite took the power and gained the control of Brazil for twenty-one years. During this period, Brazil suffered one of the most brutal dictatorships in South America: tortures, kidnappings, censorships (Political parties were banned in 1965), disappearances, and executions. This obscure period ended in 1985, when Brazil re-established its democracy with Sarney da Costa as president (Bethell, 2000). His term lasted till 1990 when he was succeeded by Fernando Collor de Mello who was impeached two years later due to corruption accusations. In 1993, in the middle of an economic and political crisis, Brazil held a constitutional referendum to decide whether the country would keep a democratic system or return to Monarchy. With a negative vote for the latter, the row of presidents continued with Itamar Cantiero Franco, member of the PMDB1, from 1992 till 1994,

1 Partido do Movimiento Democrátio Brasilero, Party of the Brazilian Democratic movement. Successor party to the MDB

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when Henrique Cardoso (PSDB2) took over the presidency (Bethell, 2000). Cardoso kept the office till 2002, when Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva3 (PT4), after being defeated in the previous two election rounds, assumed as the president to be later re-elected in 2006 (Samuels, 2008). He passed the office to the current chief of staff Dilma Vana Rouseff (PT) in 2010. Dilma repeated the previous pattern of presidential re-election, winning the 2014 poll. However, she was impeached after a series of events that will be discussed in the next chapter, which is going to provide further information on the Worker’s party (Damgaard, 2018). This brief overview indicates that Brazil underwent many significant transformations: Twentyone years of dictatorship; a series of corruption scandals; two presidents impeached within the last three decades; among other major social disruptions that their discussion would exceed the scope of this paper. The constant state of economic and political instability that this chapter intended to emphasize, have clearly impeded the creation of a solid democratic system, which continuously reinforces the historic discrepancy between poor and rich.

1.2 The worker’s party and the Brazil major political events of the last twenty years In addition to the brief summary of Brazil’s socio-political development, it is important to introduce substantial information about the political party used as a case study for this work. The party emerges during the late 1970s, when the country was in the last stage of military dictatorship. Workers in the metallurgical industries organized through factory commissions to push towards fair and better working conditions. They coordinated many strikes in which millions participated. These protests constitute the origin of PT (Workers’ Party), officially founded in 1980 with the aim of promoting better life conditions for city and farm workers5 (Samuel, 2008). Since its establishments the party adopted a series of democratic socialist politics, aiming to reduce the economic gap between the poor and rich sectors in Brazilian society. However, they did not succeed to obtain the presidency till the 2002 elections, when the party modified their radical leftist leaning towards a more moderate approach: During his campaign for example, Lula da Silva, one of the founders and main historical leaders of the party, emphasized the importance of foreign investors and he assigned the role of vice-president to a member of a conservative party (José Alencar6). Consequently, da Silva obtained 61.3% of

2 Partido da Social Democracia Brasilera, The Brazilian Social Democracy Party, also known as the Brazilian Social Democratic Party. 3 Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is generally known as “Lula” 4 PT: Worker’s Party – Partido dos Trabalhadores

5

https://pt.org.br/nossa-historia/

6

José Alencar represented Partido Liberal, Liberal Party.

4


the votes in the runoff, becoming PT’s first president of Brazil (Samuel, 2008). In order to achieve majority in the congress and being able to pass laws, the party formed a coalition with eight non-leftist parties. During his presidency, despite not pushing forth radical changes and continuing with many of Cardoso’s more conservative programs, da Silva still managed to enhance the living conditions of four million people that till then were below poverty line (Samuel, 2008). In 2005, corruptions accusations under the name of “Escândalo do Mesalão7” came to light, accusing several politicians (mostly PT’s members) of secretly paying deputies for their support in congress. Even though this scandal severely harmed the party’s public image, Lula successfully distanced himself from the affairs, leading to his re-election in 2006 (Damgaard, 2018). With 87% of public approval he passed the presidential sash to his chosen successor Dilma Rouseff in 2011 (Grudgings, 2010). Rouseff started her political career in a left-wing organization that fought against the military dictatorship, leading to her imprisonment and torture over two years (1970-1972). She joined the PT in 2000 where she served as a minister of energy from 2002 on and replaced the chief of staff in 2005 due to corruptions scandals discussed above (Samuels, 2008). The same year she assumed as a president, Brazil’s economy recessed after almost a decade of economic growth and the country’s commodities lost value in the international market. In order to improve the party’s and her own public image, that was still affected by the Mensalão scandal, Dilma opened one of the country’s biggest corruption investigations in 2014 under the name of “Lava-Jato” (Damgaard, 2018). This caused big turmoil in the political arena as many high-rank politicians from diverse parties and members of the business elite were involved and often imprisoned. Nine months after losing the 2014 elections to Dilma, Aécio Neves (PSDB) started an impeachment process against her. Rouseff was accused of administrative misconduct and disregard of the federal budget. After six months of political chaos, the first female president of Brazil was impeached in August 2016, replaced by the vice-president Michael Temer from the PMDB party (Damgaard, 2018). The Lava-Jato investigations that Rouseff originally started to fight against corruption eventually affected many members from her own political party, including da Silva who was charged for being the “maximum commander of the scheme” by Sergio Moro8. On June 2017, 7

Mensalão is a variant of the word for "big monthly payment" (salário mensal or mensalidade).

8

Sergio Moro was the a Federal Judge that conduct the Lava-Jato investigation.

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da Silva was sentenced to nine and a half years of prison. Nevertheless, he initially remained free due to his appeals. Even though Lula was leading the 2018 election polls with 31% of votes (followed by Bolsonaro9 with 15%), the Supreme court decided to remove his political privileges, enforcing his imprisonment in April 2018 (Damgaard, 2019). As mentioned before, there are many details that could not be included due to the scope of this paper. Given that, I hope that this section provides a general understanding of PT’s history and the main political scandals the party was involved in, insights that will later help to contextualize the analysis.

1.2.1 Influence of Media in public opinions “Journalists do not write articles. They write stories.” (Bell 1991:147). The aim of this section is to briefly examine the political consequences of the stories generated by editorial groups. Given that media is the mainstream channel of communication between political parties and the citizens, it theoretically should serve the function of providing objective information. However, this claim to neutrality sadly diverges from reality as media is a huge global industry directed

by

private

(political,

ethical

and

career)

interests

(Damgaard,

2018).

The content and the way it is presented could largely vary depending on those interests. Representing political actors in certain ways can influence the readers’ opinion towards these figures and thereby manipulate their political decision making (Barrett and Lowell W. Barrington, 2005). This is affirmed by many studies that reveal that the choice of imagery of a candidate in a newspaper, magazine or any other media platform partly affects people’s voting behaviour (Andrew W. Barrett & Lowell W. Barrington, 2005; Todorov, 2005; Rosenberg, Bohan, McCafferty & Harris, 1986). Considering the power of media in shaping public opinion, I will analyse how PT’s main political actors (Lula and Dilma) are presented differently in the covers of three Brazilian magazines and how this might reflect the editorial’s position towards this party. 1.2.2 Mass media concentration and its players in Brazil Based on the theories discussed in the previous chapter, it is important to know the actors behind what we watch, read or listen to. For instance, it should be considered if the consumed content is potentially biased in regard to the editorial’s own political and economic interest. In case of Brazil, the media ownership concentration is critical, according to a German based website

9

Jair Bolsonaro is the current elected president of Brasil, chosen in 2018.

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called “Media Ownership Monitor”10 that aims to expose who are the actors behind the media groups around the globe. In the following, I will briefly present the groups that own the magazines used as case of study in this work. 1.2.2.1 Grupo Globo Grupo Globo owns one of the three magazines that will be analysed: Época. This conglomerate, founded in 1925, is one of the biggest media groups in the world: In the print media section, they control the most read Brazilian newspaper “O Globo” and three other dailies; fifteen magazines; the second biggest TV network in the world with 123 channels reaching 99.35% of Brazilian population; three radio groups (with 51 stations in total) and online portals as “globo.com”,

the

fifth

most

visited

website

in

Brazil

(Fonseca,

2017).

Considering these statistics, Media ownership Monitor comes to the conclusion that “By dominating so many markets, the group alone reaches an audience larger than the one of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th largest Brazilian groups combined. This fact is of such significance that Grupo Globo recently announced in a campaign that they reach 100 million Brazilians daily, around half of the national population. What might work for the group as commercial statement of reach, can be seen as an alarming scenario for media plurality.” (Fonseca, 2017).

1.2.2.2 Grupo Abril Created in 1950 by Victor Civita, Grupo Abril is still in hands of the same family. Since its formation, the group participated in the editorial business with Veja magazine as their most successful production, reaching a circulation of a million copies per week. However, Veja is not the only magazine they distribute: Out of the top 10 most sold magazines, Grupo Abril owns six. In contrast to the hegemonic role that the group obtained within the weeklies business since its beginning, Grupo Abril is currently smaller than they used to be four decades ago. Without much success, the company used to invest in editorials related to educational projects during the 1980s, among other kind of TV related business. The group distributed diverse magazines and books on their own, until they merged with another distribution company in 2007 and created a monopole in the magazine distribution industry. Interestingly, the group also has a strong online presence with the portal of Veja.com that is the 3rd most visited news portal after globo.com -Grupo Globo- and Uol.com -Grupo Folha11- (Fonseca, 2017).

10 11

brazil.mom-rsf.org Grupo Folha is another important conglomerate group based on Sao Pablo own by Frias family

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1.2.2.3 CartaCapital In contrast to the Veja and Época which belong to Grupo Abril and Grupo Globo respectively, CartaCapital does not and did not belong to any editorial group, being an independent magazine.

2. Methodology explanation and Brazilian magazine’s covers analysis The following chapter explains the methodology used in order to conduct the analysis of this paper. Once presented the chosen method of analysis, I will introduce the variables and their values that were developed for its conduct. Subsequently, I will comment on the selection of the material used as case study. Once the reader has gained an understanding of how the study is approached, the analysis is presented and lastly the obtain findings are presented.

2.1.1 Theory on the visual content analysis As this work’s objective is in line with a method that allows to interpret the hidden values in the photographic representations, a qualitative technique was selected. Among the variety of qualitative analysis methods, which commonly focus on the study of visual, textual or oral information, I chose to use the content analysis of visual images for this work. It is “a systematic, observational method used for testing hypotheses about the ways in which the media represent people, events, situations, and so on.” (Bell, 2001). Studies that use this approach are mostly comparative and deal with questions of bias (Bell, 2001). Therefore, the method of visual content analysis matches the purpose of the present study: to examine how imagery choices in certain magazines potentially reflect the weeklies political bias. Beyond that, the method is suitable since it works with defined variables. This offers a systematic – and hence more objective – approach to the content. Regarding the procedure, the first step is to define a specific expectation or hypothesis around the content to be analysed. Then, one establishes and defines an appropriate set of variables (with values on each variable) that will allow to analyse the imagery through the same lens and therefore to compare it in a more objective way. In the present study, this method will be applied to the case of three Brazilian magazine covers (Veja, CartaCapital, Época) with the aim to examine how (differently) they portray three key events in the Brazilian political and economic history. These events are: 1) The assumption day of Dilma Rouseff as the first female president of Brazil, 2) The days before the Rouseff’s 8


impeachment decision took place 3) A key moment into the imprisonment case of Lula da Silva. The analysis focuses on deconstructing the photographic and editorial strategies that were used to display Dilma and Lula in these events, either positively or negatively, dependent on each magazine’s own political leaning. My hypothesis, as formulated in the introduction, thereby is to find that Veja and Época, both representing a centre-right political orientation, will attempt to portray members of the leftwing PT party in a rather unfavourable way. Conversely, I expect to find that CartaCapital, as a more independent and leftist magazine, will expose the same politicians in a better light, indirectly encouraging the reader to sympathize with them.

2.1.2 Variables and values applied for this analysis In line with the described procedure (2.1.1), I present in this section the three variables and its values that were designed to test my hypothesis. Variable 1: Social Distance The first variable serves to describe the perceived social distance that a photo could convey. Kress und van Leeuwen (1996) introduced the idea that the personal distance in human interactions varies according to the relationship type. Based on the work of Edward Hall (1964) they argue that “we carry with us a set of invisible boundaries beyond which we allow only certain kinds of people to come. […] With these differences correspond different fields of vision.” Considering that those interactions could be different according the distance (literally and figurative) we experience from certain a subject, Hall (1964) established a theory of “Proxemics”12 which proposes certain values that help us to measure these distances proportionally: a) Intimate: We can just see the face of the subject. The proximity varies between 2 and 15cm. b) Close Personal: The head and the shoulders are seen, with a distance between fifty centimeters to a meter. c) Far Personal: We can observe our subject till the waist. The literal distance would range between one and three meters. d) Close Social: One can see the whole figure of the subject.

12 Proxemics is the study of human use of space and the effects that population density has on behavior, communication, and social interaction

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e) Far Social: We can see the whole figure from the individual, with some space around it. f) Public: Here the body of few people (at least four or five) could be observed. Variable 2: Visual modality This variable refers to the visual elements that determine the level of “realism” of an image. Those are for example the color, depth, perspective, tonal shades of a photograph. All of these elements fall along a spectrum that could be measured in a scale. For instance, the color in an image could be over saturated or low saturated, producing different visual impacts that spark diverse reactions in the viewer. For this case study, I focus on the variable of color, with the scale ranging from warm to cold, having neutral as a third value. However, colors cannot be analyzed exclusively considering that this value is context and content dependent. For example, the color red would have different interpretations depending on whether it is used in a hearthshape balloon or a communist flag. Lastly, I will determine the level of realism of an image taking into account other elements that are related to color, like the saturation and contrast. a) Warm: Generally found in the yellow, orange and red color pallet. b) Cold: Ranging between the blue and green spectrum. c) Neutral: In the middle of the above. Variable 3: Behavior This third variable considers the type of (imagined) interaction between the represented subject and the viewer, taking as reference two theoretical approaches: Following Goffman (1979), the first one refers to the power that the subject appears to convey through its behavior. The second approach refers to the idea of the diverse reactions depending on how the subject looks (or does not look) at the camera. Kress and Van Leeuwen (1996) point out that there is a “difference between pictures from which represented participants look directly at the viewer’s eyes, and pictures in which this is not the case. When represented participants look at the viewer, vectors, formed by participants’ eyelines, connect the participants with the viewer”. a) Ideal: The subject is idealized as example to follow. b) Affiliation/Equality: The portrayed person looks at the viewer, directly, smiling. c) Submission: The character looks down at viewer, not smiling. d) None of the above.

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While I chose the method of Visual Content analysis because of the systematic way of conducting it along certain pre-established categories, I however consider it equally important to keep a certain level of openness and flexibility towards the content of analysis. Therefore, in addition to the variables system, I will interpret further visual elements with regards to their latent (symbolic, hidden) meanings. By doing so, I aim to perform a more overall and complete analysis for each image.

2.1.2 Unit of analysis Before conducting the analysis and present its findings, I will unfold key insights about the three magazines chosen for this study, and the reasons for which I decided to work with these weeklies.

2.1.2.1 Insights of Veja magazine This magazine was founded in 1968 during the military dictatorship by Roberto Civita, the son of media entrepreneur and founder of Grupo Abril. With an average of about one million copies for each edition, it is the most sold weekly in Brazil (Damgaard, 2018). In its early years, a contract ensured editorial independence of the paper’s first editor Mino Carta from Grupo Abril. This agreement was reflected in rather progressive, regime-critical articles, especially during the dictatorship period in Brazil. For example, Veja exposed torture practices that at the time were denied by the military government, published Che Guevara journals and did not shrink away from other polemical topics such as abortion and virginity. With Carta’s resignation in 1976, which itself was motivated by pressure from the military and the group’s owner, a radical transformation took place regarding this editorial line. Losing the journalistic freedom that characterised the magazine’s early publications, Veja consequently adopted a more conservative, liberal and pro-military perspective. Until the present, the magazine kept a centre-right orientation supporting right-wing forces that appears strongly impacted by Grupo Abril’s political and economic principles (Damgaard, 2018). This weekly was included in the present case study primarily because of its broad reach as Brazil’s most sold magazine and accordingly its great power of shaping public opinion. 2.1.2.2 Insights of Época magazine Época magazine was created in 1998 by Grupo Globo to compete with the weeklies from rival communication groups such as Veja (Grupo Abril) and IstoÉ (Editora Três). The journal

11


currently has a circulation of around 360000 copies and is thereby the second most sold magazine in the country (Damgaard, 2019). While Época may be the youngest of the three magazines analyzed in this paper, it belongs to the largest media enterprise in Brazil. This is the reason why I consider it important to include this influential magazine into the analysis.

2.1.2.3 Insights of CartaCapital magazine CartaCapital was established in 1994 with the peculiarity of being founded by Mino Carta (the same founder of Istoé13 and Veja magazine) While it has a smaller number of weekly copies sold (65.000 exemplars) than the previous two magazines, it reached about 230.000 people in total in 2016, including online audience (Damgaard, 2018). It was a monthly published paper till 1996, from when on it increased its production frequency to bi-monthly. In 2002, due to its success, CartaCapital was launched as a weekly magazine. Interestingly, it does not belong to any corporate group, but instead is an independent media based in Sao Paulo. With its left-oriented editorial line, the magazine thereby plays an ideological counterpart to others mainstream magazines in the Brazilian media landscape, such as Veja and Época. This is precisely why I included it into the case study: In contrast to the previous two magazines, CartaCapital represents the interest of the left-wing readers and thus, broadens the political spectrum of this analysis.

2.2 Conducting an analysis of three major political events As I announced in the beginning of this chapter, I will now present the analysis organized by date: Firstly, Dilma’s assumption day (2.2.1), then Dilma’s Impeachment scandal (2.2.2), and lastly the imprisonment of Lula da Silva (2.2.3). Following this analysis, I will unfold the findings with special focus on the similar elements and the differences among the magazines. I will lastly take in consideration whether or not these findings support my hypothesis that the magazines portray Lula and Dilma either in a favourable or unfavourable manner, according their political leaning.

13

IstoÉ is a Brazilian magazine focused on politics, founded in 1927 by Mino Carta.

12


Event/ Magazine

Época

Cartca Capital

Veja

Dilma’s Assumption day 14

15

17

18

19

20

21

22

16

Dilma’s Impeachment Process

Lula’s Imprisonment

23

2.2.1 Dilma’s presidential assumption day The following covers show photographs taken the first of January of 2011, when the first female president of Brazil took power. 2.2.1.1 Dilma’s presidential assumption day by Época

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Figure 1- Época #659 Figure 2 - CartaCapital #628 16 Figure 3 - Veja #2198 17 Figure 4 - Época #928 18 Figure 5 - CartaCapital #894 19 Figure 6 - Veja #2474 20 Figure 7 - Época #985 21 Figure 8 - CartaCapital #942 22 Figure 9 - Veja #2527 23 Analysis corpus – Made by the author 15

13


24

Variable 1: Social Distance - D) Close Social Firstly, we can observe that Dilma is displayed in a rather big size, proportionally to the whole cover’s size. Even though she is in normal distance considering her importance as the country’s president, the photograph’s resolution allows us to observe certain particularities on her appearance. For instance, we can see some details of the presidential sash, her tiny bracelet, among other details of her costume. When it comes to the distance in regard to the other picture’s participants in the background, one can see that she is considerably far from the rest. Variable 2: Visual Modality - C) Neutral Regardless of the warm colors depicted in the presidential sash, the overall color pallet on the image is quite neutral, creating in this way a sense of balance. This is additionally evoked by the contrast between the white-cream tonalities on the image’s main subject, and the dark tonalities on the background figures. Variable 3: Behavior - A) Ideal & D) None of the above From my perspective, two values could be assigned to this variable. One the one hand, the subject appears idealized because of the carrying of a presidential sash and the role of the magazine cover’s main actor. On the other hand, however, we perceive certain signs coming 24

Figure 1. Época #659 from 03/01/2011

14


from her facial expression and body posture that lead us to think of another message: She does not seem to be extremely happy, due to the absence of a clear and confident smile. While her mouth is closed, she does neither interact with the public nor with the viewer. Rather, she appears insecure considering both her facial expression and hand gestures (we can observe that she is nervously playing with her fingers on her left hand). Furthermore, her shoulders are hanging down, and she does not look upright which does not convey an energetic and motivated impression. Additional considerations Lastly, I would like to point out the fact that Dilma is depicted alone in this cover. The absence of people close by, in combination with her distance with the background gives a feeling that she is disconnected and being in her own space. This is also reinforced by the fact that she does not seem to be engaged with her surroundings. Although she is coming towards the viewer at eye to eye level, Rouseff is not seeking eye contact with the viewer nor she is obviously engaged in contact with someone else. 2.2.1.2 Dilma’s presidential assumption day by CartaCapital

25

25

Figure 2. CartaCapital #628 from 03/01/2011

15


Variable 1: Social Distance: - D) Close Social Dilma is depicted rather in a way that we are used to see important public figures (due to security or other reasons we keep certain distance). At the same time, it gives the impression that we are not that far neither, in the sense that there is no one between the viewer and the subject. She seems to be in almost direct reach. Even though proportionally to the other elements in the frame, she is portrayed in a rather small way, she is however placed in the center of the frame. This enhances the impression of her importance as a public figure. Variable 2: Visual Modality - C) Neutral Overall, this photo tends to have a neutral color tone, with few details that draw the viewer’s attention and belong to the warm pallet, but do not interfere with the subject directly. For example, the plate having green and yellow drags the viewer’s attention towards the text that says “Presidenta da república” (President of the republic). Variable 3: Behavior - A) Ideal The subject looks confident and in control of the situation, having a pleased expression. She sits upright and straight, waving to the public, that is invisible to the viewer. This does not necessarily imply arrogance, but the way she is represented rather conveys the message that Dilma is sympathetic, as she is smiling and interacting. Additional considerations In addition to the variables mentioned above, one has the overall impression that the image has a documental style. The photo gives the viewer a sense of reality considering the point of, not just regarding the distance to the subject, but also the height at which the photo was taken – the camera was at almost the same eye level of Dilma. Another indicator of the photo’s documental style is the railing bar in the car that goes exactly behind the center of Rouseff’s head, that is a bit unfortunate and therefore, realistic. Even though we have the feeling of being at the same eye level with the subject, considering the distance to her, a sense of power however remains. Even though the viewer might feel close to the happening, the subject is definitely out of personal reach. Moreover, the sense of Dilma’s power is enhanced by the role of the only other figure in the image, a man in a military uniform in the background who is up to open the car’s door for her.

16


2.2.1.3 Dilma’s presidential assumption day by Veja

26

Variable 1: Social Distance - E) Far Social Considering that we are in presence of the first female president chosen in Brazil, one can say that the distance of the subject from the viewer is appropriate. I mean, as in the previous cover, it is the distance we are used to have when we witness an official political event. Dilma is the main character in this photograph, the center in the middle of the frame. We can observe other figures in the background, however there is a considerable distance between Rouseff and them. Variable 2: Visual Modality – C) Neutral Due to the absence of other colors (except for the presidential sash) the image is composed of almost 50% black and the other 50% of white. This has a neutralizing effect on the image, allowing me to establish the value of “Neutral” to this variable. However, I find the image colors highly saturated. The only other colorful element of this cover is the number “100” in the bottom-left corner of the image, attracting the viewer’s attention to the text around the number which reads “A Batalha dos 100 dias” (The battle of the 100 days). Variable 3: Behavior - D) None of the above 26

Figure 3 - Veja #2198 from 05/01/2011

17


Even though Rouseff is presented in the center of the image, wearing the presidential sash as a symbol of power, I doubt that the editorial aim is to actually idealize the subject in this image. I get this impression firstly because the angle of the camera is tilted slightly from top to bottom, a perspective not generally used to idealize or put a subject on a “pedestal”. Another element that leads me to the selection of the “None of the above” value is her behavior simply not matching with the other categories: As explained she is neither idealized, nor is she looking directly to the camera or looking down at the audience in a way that indicates the expectation of submission. One can also observe that Dilma does neither seem excited nor content. This impression arises from her facial expression but also from the body posture (she is not even waving to the public) and her shoulders and arms are hanging down. Additional considerations Another particularity from this image is that Dilma is walking towards the viewer’s direction, whereas the subjects in the background are heading another way (towards the right). Although one can observe the presence of others within the frame she appears to be on her own. 2.2.2 Dilma’s Impeachment process The next three covers that I will analyse belong to the same time period when Dilma’s impeachment process was in the final stage.

2.2.2.1 Dilma’s Impeachment process by Época

18


27

Variable 1: Social Distance - A) Intimate The closeness of the subject is very extreme: Her face occupies the complete magazine cover. This enables the viewer to observe many details on Rouseff’s face, from the wrinkles on her eyelids to the ones around her mouth. This causes a sort of unnatural feeling of being really close to a public figure of presidential rank. Variable 2: Visual modality - B) Warm & C) Neutral Even though the photo was edited in black and white, which in itself would be neutral regarding the color variable, the presence of the 4 red lines in the middle of Dilma’s face leads me to assign the “Warm” as the main value of this category. Due to the absence of any other color in the photo, the usage of red in her face is really extreme, making the cover stand out. Something else to be considered is the high contrast used in the image post-production. This enhances the possibility to see more details on Rouseff’s skin, which in this case does not really favor her (I guess no one would like to be displayed in such detail in a magazine cover). Variable 3: Behavior - C) Submission In this case, the subject’s behavior can only be analyzed on the basis of her face. There is no other visual element that helps us in assigning a value to this variable. However, her face tells 27

Figure 4 - Época #928 from 25/03/2016

19


a lot: She looks strict with her eyebrows pulled together and the wrinkles all around her face, especially in the corners of the mouth; tired and/or worried, because of her obvious bags under her eyes; also determined because of the focused gaze and generally displeased. Lastly, Rouseff is not looking directly into the camera. It seems that the photo was taken in a moment of personal disengagement. As her mouth is closed, and her gaze turned downwards she is obviously not in the middle of a social interaction. Additional observations One more observation that I consider important to highlight is the clear usage of an edition software to add two red bars on each cheek. Those symbols are typically associated with war, which adds to the sentiment of violence around her. This relates directly with the title that the weekly placed on her forehead: “Dilma vai à Guerra” (Dilma goes to war). 2.2.2.2 Dilma’s Impeachment process by CartaCapital

28

Variable 1: Social Distance – E) Far social In this cover, Lula and Dilma are displayed in full body size (exactly in the middle of a “spot” light). They are at the central-bottom part of the image, and in relation to the other cover’s 28

Figure 5 - CartaCapital #894 from 30/03/2016

20


participants, they are shown in a much smaller scale. This allows us to read their body language but does not enable the viewer to depict in detail the facial expression. Variable 2: Visual Modality – C) Neutral & B) Cold If we would only focus on the color pallet on Lula and Dilma bodies, this variable would be defined as neutral. However, taking the whole cover into consideration, an additional value has to be applied. There is a cold tone, as if the light is coming from a TV. The blue spotlight that Dilma and Lula are standing on seems to be coming from the top of the frame, where the other characters are. Variable 3: Behavior – D) None of the above Even though many characters are display in this cover, I will consider just the ex-presidents to define this variable. They are not looking at the viewer, but at each other. It seems that they are in a dialog, possibly trying to find an explanation or a solution for a problem. Also, Dilma’s posture alludes to the viewer that she might be exhausted, as her shoulders (and arms) are hanging down. In addition, Lula seems to be pressing his own hands, which could be interpreted as a nervous reaction. Additional considerations This cover has a lot of additional content to be interpreted. Considering the scope of this study, I will limit myself to the most important aspects. Firstly, the title “Os ensaístas do golpe” (the coup essayists) gives a clear indication for the editorial’s position towards the impeachment trial: The choice of words and the image composition indirectly imply the idea of an organized coup, with the main prosecutors represented above29. My impression is that these actors are not well presented, appearing violent or angry. Overall, this image looks like a cover from a horror movie: the blue tones of the actors on top; the naked branches from the trees; the typeface in the word “Golpe” (in English “coup”); a pair of hands, that is not clear to whom they belong (if anyone), apparently close to grab Dilma and Lula. Lastly, the inclusion of the Globo TV group logo on the top has an important meaning: Considering this group’s reach, I think that placing Globo TV (next to the other actors in the same bluish color tone) the magazine is indicating that they might also be part of this “coup”.

(from right to left): Sergio Moro, Gilmar Mendes(Brazilian Supreme Federal Court), Jose Serra (politician from PSDB) and Eduardo Cuhna ( President of the Chamber of Deputies) 29

21


2.2.2.3 Dilma’s Impeachment process by Veja

30

Variable 1: Social Distance – B) Close Personal The subject position and its proportion of within the frame could be compared with a passport photo ID. Allowing the viewer to have a closer look to the subject, and consequently, discover certain detail into Dilma’s portrait. For example, the effect of the tear on her left eye, the usage of make-up and the earrings she is wearing. Variable 2: Visual Modality –C) Neutral & A) Warm The color pallet in the image is neutral, slightly into the warm spectrum. There is a vast grey sector coming from the top part to the image towards the center, created with the ripping off visual effect. Variable 3: Behavior - B) Affiliation Dilma is looking directly to the viewer, looking content, secure and proud. The perceived direct contact with the president (further enhanced with the eye to eye-to-eye camera perspective photo chosen for this image) makes her appear sympathetic to the viewer; Which is why I 30

Figure 6 - Veja #2474 from 20/04/2016

22


assigned the value of affiliation to this variable. However, when extending the perspective of analysis of her overall body language, somehow stiff at the same time, especially due to her upright posture. Additional considerations This edition of Veja magazine, was released the week before the Deputies voting decision regarding the impeachment took place. That is why it is important to highlight the fact that the main title of this cover is “Fora do Baralho” (Out of deck. In addition, the text also states that “[…] Dilma already lost the power battle”. Independently from the voting result, it seems that the weekly already assumed that Dilma is going to be impeached. In my opinion, this is what the cover implies: The complete framing of the photo reminds of the effect of a photo being removed from a wall by someone passing by, something that could be interpreted as the public image of Dilma’s public image getting destroyed irreversibly (at least through Veja’s standpoint).

2.2.3 Lula da Silva’s imprisonment The next covers reflect decisive moments of Lula’s imprisonment process.

2.2.3.1 Lula da Silva’s imprisonment by Época

23


31

Variable 1: Social Distance – B) Close Personal The close proximity to Lula in this image, allow us to observe many details in his face, like the wrinkles on his forehead, the pronounced veins on his hand or even a sort of strange reflection in his eye. The fact that we can see not even his whole head and just a part of it allow us to observe many details, creating a sense of intimacy with the subject. Variable 2: Visual Modality - C) Neutral This image is clearly over edited (It seems like a preset filter for non-professional usage). We can see that the sharpness level is really high, just like the contrast. Even though the value is set as neutral, the image presents a high level of visual modality, having, at first glance, a high impact on the viewer. In addition to this point, one can observe the main light hitting on his forehead, creating hard shades, especially around the eyes. All the factors mentioned above, creates a feeling of tension and dramatism. Variable 3: Behavior - D) None of the above Considering the slightly tilted point of view of the camera (from below up), that is normally used to assign certain power feeling to the subject, one would generally say that this perspective tries to idealize Lula. However, I do not think that in this photo the editorial tried to create that 31

Figure 7 - Época #985 from 06/05/2017

24


effect: Firstly, the expression on his face give us the idea of someone that is concerned, with eyebrows pulled together in thought, the hand in front of his mouth as sign of deep thought and the gaze facing upward as if he is waiting or asking for guidance or help. He is the only person in the frame, looking quiet and without interacting with any person. Additional thoughts Generally, I have the impression that he is not really well presented (his hair does not look really neat, and he generally looks old in this picture. All the aspects considered in the variables above give the impression that he is alone in the darkness, this is intensified by the effect that the edges of his face and his hand fade into the surrounding black.

2.2.3.1 Lula da Silva’s imprisonment by CartaCapital

32

Variable 1: Social Distance - B) Close Personal In this image da Silva is located quite close to the viewer, occupying about a 60% of the frame, which makes him almost at the “Intimate� level. This proximity allows us to observe even his micro-expressions on his forehead. I will come back to this point in the third Variable. One 32

Figure 8 - CartaCapital #942 from 08/03/2017

25


more detail to point out, is the height position of the camera, having the subject on the eye level, enhancing the sense of closeness to da Silva. Variable 2: Visual Modality – A) Warm & C) Neutral At first glance, the colors in this photo appear quite neutral. After a moment, having a closer look to the image, I could observe the warm tonality on da Silva’s skin. Considering that this thesis is focused on the way the members of the PT are displayed, I decided to assign the Warm value to this image rather than neutral. The neutrality mentioned before is generated by the balance between the light and dark areas of the frame. Lula’s face is quite well-lit (probably obtained from a studio setting with a soft box (evoking a smooth and calm effect on the subject). The judge in the background in contrast has the main light coming from the side or the back, creating shade on his face. Variable 3: Behavior - B) Affiliation/Equality As every other portrait that shows the subject looking directly to the camera (and indirectly toward to the viewer’s eyes) the first thing we pay attention to is his gaze. Because of this direct look, there is an automatic connection with the subject, that allows to read the intention behind Lula’s expression that could be interpreted as an honest look. His gaze does not have signs of violence, rather he has a friendly (and maybe trustworthy) expression. Even though he has a calm and peaceful appearance, there is a certain concern feeling that can be depict through the micro-expressions around his forehead. Overall, the look into the camera, and his facial expression combined with his mouth slightly opened, gives the impression that he is open to engage with the viewer. Additional thoughts For reasons previously explained, I did not focus on Moro’s role in this image. However, I think he plays an important part in the analysis of the whole, especially because it seems that they in the same physical space (the background helps with this merging effect). The tension between the two actors is present, having in mind the first bullet point from the text that states “no país a matroca, sergio moro tem nas mãos o destino do favorito as eleices de 2018” (In a neglected country, Sergio Moro have in his hands the destiny of the 2018 election’s favorite) . This pressure situation can be seen in Moro’s facial expression, that combined with his chin tilted down and the lighting from behind him, gives a look of guiltiness on him.

26


2.2.3.3 Lula da Silva’s imprisonment by Veja

33

Variable 1: Social Distance - A) Intimate B) Close Personal For a start, we can see that the cover’s photo was taken at the eye level of da Silva at a really close distance, with his head almost occupying the entire cover. This variable goes between the values of “Intimate” and “Close Personal” distance. This allows to observe certain details as the marks on his skin and for example, the area next to his right eye, that creates a dark “spot” between his eye and its corner. We can also see a part of his shoulders and his suit, but nothing else but a plain white background, leaving Lula by himself in the picture. Variable 2: Visual modality - C) Neutral The image is edited in black and white, with just the text being in red (something that helps the text to stand out). Overall the image is balanced in relation to the black and white areas. Another noticeable color element is the usage of black in the middle of the picture, as a strong disrupting element. In combination with the subject distance, the highly contrasted edition of this image evokes certain tension. Variable 3: Behavior - B) Equality

33

Figure 9 - Veja #2527 from 26/04/2017

27


Again, the analysis of Lula’s behavior can just be performed by looking at his face and parts of his shoulders. The first thing that is noticeable is again the rupture in the middle of his face caused by the postproduction effect on the photograph (that does clearly not serve as a method to idealize the subject). Later, we can observe his rather upright posture, that leads to an impression of confidence with no clear signs of guilt or shame. This absence of extreme emotional expression makes this character’s portrait rather relatable to the viewer. Other than that, he does not show much more emotion through his face, looking at the viewer with a relatively neutral gaze (he does neither look happy nor angry or violent). Additional thoughts As mentioned before in the Visual Modality variable, I consider of major importance the fact that the magazine’s editors decided to apply this “rip off” effect in middle of the subject’s face. In my opinion, this technique is clearly intended to cut Lula’s photograph in a half, which accompanied by the text “Acabou” (Finished), aims to portray his public image as if he is somehow destroyed. I would argue that the depth of field used for this photograph does not play in Lula’s favor either: In combination with the level of detail generated by the closeness to the subject, we see rather unfavorable details around his face.

2.3 Analysis’s findings In order to clearly present the findings of this case study, I will divide this section in two parts. Firstly, I will compare how the different magazines displayed each of the main actors of the PT party for each event (considering each variable separately). Then, I will do a cross-comparison in regard to how do they choose to represent these actors. This comparison aims to prove or disprove my hypothesis that states that Época and Veja tend to represent Dilma and Lula in a unfavorable way, in contrast to CartaCapital that will aim to display them in a more favorable manner.

2.3.1 Dilma’s Assumption day Dilma’s assumption day

Època

CartaCapital

Veja

V1: Social Distance

D

D

E

V2: Visual Modality

C

C

C

V3: Behavior

A-D

A

D

28


V1: I did not find a significant difference among the magazines. In all of them, the subject is shown from a rather similar distance (except for the Época cover that portrays Dilma a bit closer). V2: In regard to the Visual Modality variable, the covers were really similar, having all of them a rather neutral usage of the color pallet. V3: Lastly, in the behavior variable is where I found more differences among the magazines. CartaCapital was the only that actually represent Dilma idealizing her (she was smiling and waving to the public). The other two weeklies, specially Veja, portrayed Rouseff while walking (with her arms down) with a rather serious expression on her face.

2.3.2 Dilma’s Impeachment Dilma’s Impeachment

Època

CartaCapital

Veja

V1: Social Distance

A

E

B

V2: Visual Modality

B-C

C-B

C-A

V3: Behavior

C

D

B

V1: All of the magazines have a different approach in this variable. Época and Veja are rather close in their approach, portraying Dilma at the close distance, in contrast to CartaCapital that opt for a totally different perspective towards the PT’s members. V2: The color pallet usage on these covers was also quite different between the magazines with the particularity that CartaCapital use cold tones for representing the prosecutors of the Dilma’s impeachment. V3: Lastly, in this last variable we observe that all of the magazines choose a different approach. Época portraying Dilma in a rather submissive way, contrasting with Veja’s cover, that ironically presented her looking directly and smiling to the viewer. Lastly CartaCapital display Dilma and Lula talking to each other.

2.3.3 Lula’s Imprisonment Lula’s imprisonment

Època

CartaCapital

Veja

V1: Social Distance

B

B

A-B

V2: Visual Modality

C

A-C

C

V3: Behavior

D

B

B 29


V1: Here the social distance was quite similar portraying Lula as the main (and only) actor of the cover, differencing with the editorial approach of CartaCapital that decided also to include the judge Moro on the image just behind Lula. V2: Época and Veja choose to portray Lula in black and white, in contrast to CartaCapital that presents the ex-president in color with warm tonalities on his skin. V3: Regarding the behavior, there are not huge difference among all the magazines, excepting for the way Lula is presented in Época where he is displayed in a thinking (and bit concerned) pose.

2.3.4 Finding’s final remarks Before presenting the final remarks on my findings, I would like to address some methodological limitations of this case study. Firstly, it is important to point out that when it comes to the (qualitative) interpretation of content, subjectivity is inevitably part of the research process. Even though a set of variables has been used exactly for this reason, to objectify the analysis, it is still not possible to fully achieve this ideal of objectivity (another researcher might have applied another value to the very same variable). Further, with the focus on three events and three magazines, this analysis works with a really small sample. There are not only many more covers from the magazines I worked with but also other weeklies that present Dilma and Lula in their covers but could not be included in this work due its limited size. Also, there could have been many other variables to consider for an exhaustive analysis, as for example the interpretation of (sub)titles or symbols in the covers. The representativity of this study is therefore restricted. The acknowledgement of these limitations reveals how the present study could be extended in future works. These could for instance enlarge the number of magazines and variables are include politicians from other political parties and therefore achieve greater generalizability. For a more exhaustive viewpoint, it could also be interesting to analyze how politicians from other political parties are represented by these editorial group. Having these limitations in mind, I come to the conclusion that firstly, and most importantly, my hypothesis can be supported: The analysis reveals that the political bias of the three magazines is existent and finds expression in their covers. There is a clear tendency for each weekly to present Da Silva and Rouseff in a generally more favorable or unfavorable way. Although all three weeklies show this tendency, they do so to varying degrees in the different examples analyzed here. In some of the covers, the editorial leaning shows rather obviously, whereas the political messages are more hidden in others. 30


In the coverage on Dilma’s presidential assumption day (2.2.1) for example, the differences within the three magazines are less obvious than in the covers on Rouseff’s impeachment or Lula’s imprisonment. In that first case of analysis, Dilma’s assumption day, there are two main aspects that differentiate the magazines’ cover photographs: The first one can be found in the angle from which the photo was taken. Veja’s cover photograph for instance uses a slightly tilted down angle that diminishes her authority, whereas Época and CartaCapital use an almost eye-to-eye level photographs. A second main difference between the covers lies in Dilma’s behavior. In contrast to the image chosen by CartaCapital, where she is smiling and interacting with the public, she appears rather stiff and not content in the photographs from both the Época and Veja cover. A clear case of biased representation is visible in the event of Dilma’s impeachment (2.2.2). Época here presents a close-up photograph of Dilma (with symbols added post-production), stating that she is going to war. Veja likewise shows the Rouseff in an unfavorable way, using a visual effect as if her photo would be ripped off from a wall in combination with the title “out of deck”. In contrast to the previous two examples, CartaCapital opts for a totally different approach to represent the impeachment process: Instead of Dilma and Lula, who are here shown as the victims of the situation, they choose to portray their prosecutors in a rather unfavorable way (more details in 2.2.2.2). Another example of (an obvious) impartiality can be found in the magazines’ coverage of Lula’s imprisonment. Here again, the cover photographs differ quite largely: Época displays Lula as concerned and thoughtful - making use of photo editing techniques that make him appear older. Veja decided to definitely not portraying him in a favorable way, presenting a close-up photo of him that is divided in two halves. CartaCapital on the other hand portrays Lula in a rather favorable way, including one of his prosecutors in the image’s background with a rather guilty expression. Taking all these study cases into consideration, this cross-comparison thus affirms my hypothesis: Differences can be found in the ways in which the three different magazines represent the same political events in their covers. Veja thereby appears as the weekly that displays Dilma and Lula most negatively, followed by Época, which does as well but in a less obvious manner, and lastly CartaCapital, which generally shows the two politicians in a more favorable (sympathetic and relatable) way.

3. Conclusion As I described in the first chapter, Brazil suffered diverse socio-political crises throughout its history. These crises led to consequences that still affect the present and will probably continue to do so in the future. Not so long ago, the Brazilian democracy has been shaken by a military 31


coup that lasted twenty-one years. As many political parties were banned, the country’s political plurality suffered, resulting in an ideological polarization that still affects the present. During this time, the state additionally supported the empowerment of certain media groups, which led to the concentration of power over information in the hands of just few families. From then on until the present, many political corruption scandals emerge(d), causing many protests and socio-political turmoil. Many studies have confirmed that in the middle of such political and social chaos, mainstream media – (as one of the only communication channels between people and political parties)plays a fundamental role in public opinion formation (Andrew W. Barrett & Lowell W. Barrington, 2005; Todorov, 2005; Rosenberg, Bohan, McCafferty & Harris, 1986). This role of powerful editorial groups34 that control a vast portion of the market, while lacking editorial objectivity (Damgaard, 2018), provides an interesting case for research. Using the method of qualitative content analysis (with a set of variables and values), this work aimed to contribute to this field of study, analyzing the cover photographs of three Brazilian magazines in regard to how they portrayed the politicians Lula da Silva and Dilma Rouseff in the same events: The assumption day of Dilma Rouseff as the first female president of Brazil; the days before the Rouseff’s impeachment decision took place; a key moment into the imprisonment case of Lula da Silva. My analysis thereby found that all the magazines (Época, CartaCapital and Veja) were biased in their ways of representation, with Época and Veja generally representing the expresidents in a rather unfavorable way while CartaCapital showed more favorable photographs of the two. In conclusion, even though it includes a rather small sample, my case study shows that the editorial groups’ bias in their representations of certain political actors is obvious and somewhat extreme. I think that more people should be aware of the subjectivity of media and its influence on public opinion and act accordingly. A good practice to be well informed would for instance be to check two or more sources on a particular event. In doing so, it is more probable to form a personal opinion regarding a topic that concerns us based on balanced and neutral information. I think that the findings from this study can be viewed as a starting point for further research projects that address bigger picture questions: How much do certain corporate groups affect public opinion in Brazil? How much do they interfere in the population’s voting decision? Could Bolsonaro have won the elections if these editorial groups had a more objective way of doing journalism? What is the role and responsibility of the government when it comes to mainstream media corporate groups? 34

Época and mainly grupo Globo.

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4. Bibliography 4.1 Online Sources Bethell, L. (2000). Politics in Brazil: From Elections without Democracy to Democracy without Citizenship. Daedalus, 129(2), 1-27. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20027627 Grudgings, S., (2010) Brazil's Lula to leave with record-high popularity. Retrieved 27 October 2019 from Reuters website https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-lula-poll/brazils-lula-toleave-with-record-high-popularity-idUSTRE6BF4O620101216

4.2 Eassys in journals Koch-Baumgarten, S., & Voltmer, K. (Eds.). (2010). Public policy and the mass media: The interplay of mass communication and political decision making (Vol. 66). Routledge. Lea, D., Milward, C., & Rowe, A. (Eds.). (2001). A political chronology of the Americas (Vol. 6). Psychology Press. Samuels, D. (2008). Brazilian Democracy under Lula and the PT. Constructing Democratic Governance in Latin America, 152-176. Todorov, A., Mandisodza, A. N., Goren, A., & Hall, C. C. (2005). Inferences of competence from faces predict election outcomes. Science, 308(5728), 1623-1626. 4.3 Monographs Barrett, A. W., & Barrington, L. W. (2005). Is a picture worth a thousand words? Newspaper photographs

and

voter

evaluations

of

political

candidates.

Bell, P. (2001). Content analysis of visual images. Handbook of visual analysis, 13.

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Damgaard, M. B. (2018). Car Wash, Crisis, and Political Cataclysm: Corruption Narratives in the Brazilian Mediascape(Doctoral dissertation, Københavns Universitet, Det Humanistiske Fakultet). Damgaard, M. B. (2019). Media leaks and corruption in Brazil: the infostorm of impeachment and the Lava-Jato scandal. Routledge. Fonseca, D. (2017). Regulatory framework of the brazilian media system. Study for the Media Ownership

Monitor,

MOM

-

Brasil

2017.

Goman, C. K. (2011). The silent language of leaders. How Body Language Can Help–Or Hurt-How You Lead. Chichester, United Kingdom: John Wiley and Sons Ltd. Keck, M. E., & Smith, R. E. (1992). The workers' party and democratization in Brazil. New Haven: Yale University Press. Koch-Baumgarten, S., & Voltmer, K. (Eds.). (2010). Public policy and the mass media: The interplay of mass communication and political decision making. London: Routledge. Kress, G., & Van Leeuwen, T. (1996). 2006. Reading images: The grammar of visual design. 4.3 Images Figure 1. Época, cover #659 from 03/01/2011. Retrieved 17/10/2019 from https://epoca.globo.com/tempo/noticia/2013/06/capas-de-epoca.html Figure 2. (Garcez, C., 2015) O Governo Dilma Rousseff na revista Carta Capital: uma análise do percurso gerativo nas capas da revista. Retrieved 17/10/2019. CartaCapital, cover #628 from 03/01/2011. Figure 3. Veja, cover #2198 from 05/01/2011. Retrieved 17/10/2019from https://http2.mlstatic.com/revista-veja-especial-40-paginas-governo-dilma-n-2198D_NQ_NP_648512-MLB27834363464_072018-F.jpg

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Figure 4. Época, cover #928 from 25/03/2016. Retrieved 19/10/2019 from https://epoca.globo.com/tempo/noticia/2013/06/capas-de-epoca.html Figure 5. CartaCapital, cover #894 from 30/03/2016. Retrieved 19/10/2019 from https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CeafXhiW8AE6Q8X.jpg Figure 6. Veja, cover #2474 from 20/04/2016. Retrieved 19/10/2019 from http://www.portalimprensa.com.br/content_file_storage/2016/04/15/capaveja.jpg Figure 7. Época, cover #985 from 06/05/2017. Retrieved 20/10/2019 from https://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn.infografiaepoca.com.br/siteEpoca/todas_as_capas/index.html Figure 8. CartaCapital, cover #942 from 08/03/2017. Retrieved 20/10/2019 from http://www.biblioteca.itamaraty.gov.br/periodicos/c/carta-capital/carta-capital11/imagemCapa Figure 9. Veja, cover #2527 from 26/04/2017. Retrieve 20/10/2019 from https://abrilveja.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/veja_2527.jpg

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Profile for Ger Palomeque

Brazil and its mass media conglomeration as a case of study: The role of media in political represen  

Abstract This thesis investigates the cover photographs of three different Brazilian magazines, with regards to the question of how politica...

Brazil and its mass media conglomeration as a case of study: The role of media in political represen  

Abstract This thesis investigates the cover photographs of three different Brazilian magazines, with regards to the question of how politica...

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