In addition to the World Cup, Brazil will also have a presidential election this year. Considering the way the discourses in mainstream media and social networks are going, Dilma Rousseff will be in trouble to be reelected.
There are three main candidates: the current president Dilma Rousseff, Aécio Neves and Eduardo Campos (whose vice-president is Marina Silva, who surprisingly got a massive amount of votes as a presidential candidate in 2010).
Very influential media companies, journalists and media personalities have openly or discretely adopted an anti-Dilma position.
Today’s “O Globo” – our biggest quality paper in Rio – exclusively portrays Dilma’s government negatively while presenting the opposition candidates both according to their future plans and as commentators of the failures of the government. It is as if all their past and possibly current wrongdoings and shady relations have been put aside.
But to some extent “O Globo” preaches for the preached (their readership is known to mostly consist of people who do not support the president’s party anyway). The main problem for the president seems to be in media that is more popular (as in accessible by working class and poor people).
I have felt the “fora-Dilma” tone in highly popular radio and television programs.
Yesterday, for instance, Roberto Canázio – one of the most listened radio show hosts – shouted about how Dilma is making the price of beer higher after the World Cup.
Criticism to what has been flagged as government’s populism (ex.: in welfare programs benefiting the poor), communism (ex.: close relationship with Cuba), pro-abortion and pro-homossexuality (for many a sign of lack of proper morality) and lenience to criminality has been heard in TV newscasts, afternoon police programs and evening variety shows very popular among low-income people.
All these discourses reflect the high amount of superficial, sometimes inacurate and ill-informed discussions in social networks where anything negative that happens in the country is listed as Dilma’s fault.
On the one hand, as a media student this is something really interesting to watch. Will this anti-Dilma campaign reflect in the election results? If it does, does it mean the (mis)information attack was successful or that people are actually dissatisfied with the government?
On the other hand, as a citizen this is concerning. If Dilma is re-elected, how will the very vocal crowd against the government react? Will they once again blame the “povo” (often referring to low-income and poorly-educated people) for another bad election voting? With the rise of the eye for an eye idea and the doing justice on one’s own hand, are we to see a clash between anti-government and pro-government groups?
I don’t know.
What I know is that the importance of (mis)information seems to be on the rise in Brazil. And the combination of online gossip, inacurate information and heated reactions to opposing political ideas both in social networks and mainstream media may be very problematic in the very close future.