Freedom of Expression in Brazil
Brazil has experienced the establishment of a ‘post-re-democratisation’ constitutional framework that undoubtedly grants speech and press freedoms, and has prepared the ground for the establishment of a social communication system in alignment with the most advanced international regimes in that field.
However, the country has an infra-institutional legislation – which in fact sets the rules of the game – dating back to 1962 that does not meet the political and social challenges posed by the 1988 Federal Constitution or by the new Brazilian social reality, and neither is it responsive to the undeniable technological revolution that the communication sector has been, and still is going through.
That gap in the regulatory framework entails many negative consequences for the effective granting of freedom of speech and the press. One of the most significant is that since the 1988 Constitution was enacted, Brazil has not succeeded in building effective democratic bodies such as an independent regulatory agency, to govern the media.
Such a scenario of formally guaranteed freedoms allied to its important and persistent gaps have fostered the emergence and consolidation of an important social, political and academic movement concerned with a broad range of media-related affairs.
Such organizations develop actions in the fields of media monitoring, editorial staff qualification, and inspection, and conduct the debate on public communication policies, and advocacy actions to bring about changes in that area.