Brazil’s New Communications Minister Defends New Regulation

[Media News]

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
By Maira Magro

Recently inaugurated President Dilma Rouseff’s new communications minister, Paulo Bernardo, defended the need for a new regulatory framework for the sector, during his speech at the Jan. 3 handover ceremony, Terra reports.

“To strengthen communications, I cannot omit the necessity of a regulatory framework. This is not a revision of the hard-won rights to freedom of expression. (…) Is is a guarantee of the plurality of information,” the minister said, quoted by Terra. To Bernardo, the new rules should also deal with new media and the Internet, R7 adds.

In an interview with Estado de S. Paulo, the new minister said that Internet portals should be subject to the same regulations as traditional media outlets, which cannot have more than 30% foreign ownership. He also spoke about the potential for a new media regulation agency. “All developed countries in the world have an agency. And nobody there will spy on what you say.

After you have said something, if you made propaganda inciting pedophilia or racism, for example, it checks it out and takes action.”

Globo notes that, for Bernardo, the media regulation debate should be done “in the most public way possible, with public audiences and large debates.”

In recent months, the future of media regulation in Brazil has sparked a heated debate, with most media companies opposing any new rules.

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