Opinion: The importance of independent journalism for democracy

independent journalism

The Golden Age of Journalism is certainly a nostalgic period for today’s communication professionals and students. In a period when so many people are informed by WhatsApp chains or fake Facebook videos, it is difficult to maintain the hope that true knowledge will survive.

In the 1970s, with the successes of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate investigations by the American newspaper, society knew that the journalism it was vital for maintaining democracy. This importance has not ended today, although it is not so recognized. This is due to the ease with which anyone can post their own information and opinions on any network – so it seems that anyone can do journalism.

Since the Trump (2016) and Bolsonaro (2018) elections, it is clear that there is a great polarity in communities, and at the base of everything is the type of information that each citizen receives and accepts. At both election times, there was an increase in false information, or fake news, and post-truths (“facts” that take advantage of readers’ emotions, so that they believe more easily) to attract voters and divide citizens. This is partly due to the Internet.

In addition to making it possible to spread information at a speed never imagined years ago, it ends up taking the funding from newspapers – which, in the past, were supported by ads.

The new marketing techniques are led by large information companies, such as Facebook and Google, which also use algorithms so that certain publications reach only certain people who will engage with them.

Therefore, the mass media are maintained, today, by subscriptions and external investments; so it is our responsibility that journalism survives. Thus, the largest companies in, such as the Globo conglomerate, survive easily, while independent journalism is left to chance.

independent journalism

The importance of independent journalism

Independent journalism is important, because when a large information company is run by only one specific group, such as a family, or is financed by large entrepreneurs, it is likely that it will only serve these perspectives, the interests of the owners. Independent journalism, such as or o, is an alternative for sharing other worldviews besides those of the elite.

In an interview with the newspaper, Nilson Lage explains that the public information system has historically been organized in a centralized model with networks of networks that diverge from well-defined points. Thus, one of the consequences is that access to primary information remains subject to the mediation of a few vehicles, with the privilege of the traditional media.

Depending on the investors and the big businessmen who are in charge of this traditional media, it does not dare to expose important figures. On the other hand, in 2019, the American newspaper that arrived in Brazil in 2016, exposed corruption in Lava Jato, whose protagonist was the former judge and later Minister of Justice Sérgio Moro. Initially, the purpose of the operation was to seek and manifest money laundering initiated at Petrobras; but the perpetrators proved themselves to be hunters of the freedom of certain politicians – which was confirmed in the messages published by the newspaper between Moro and Deltan Dallagnol and others.

For this type of journalism, which helps to maintain democracy by informing society about the poison of its base, to remain strong, it is necessary for the people to invest in it, whether through subscriptions, shares (in the Internet age) and engagement. Thus, it is possible to save the democratic system for which so many fought and which is in decline.