Index 2024
82/ 180
Score : 58.59
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
92/ 180
Score : 58.67
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

The new government led by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has restored normal relations between the media and state agencies after Jair Bolsonaro’s term as president, which was marked by constant hostility towards the media. But structural violence against journalists, highly concentrated media ownership, and the effects of disinformation still pose major challenges for press freedom. 

Media landscape

The Brazilian media landscape is marked by a high concentration of private sector media ownership, characterised by a near-incestuous relationship between political, economic and religious powers. Ten major corporate conglomerates, belonging to as many families, share the market. The five biggest are Globo, Record, SBT, Bandeirantes and Folha. The editorial independence of regional and local media outlets is seriously compromised by governmental advertising. State-owned media face relative budgetary fragility and are subject to attempts at editorial interference by the government. In the absence of regulations favouring a more democratic media landscape, the country has a growing need for new laws to safeguard the existence of independent and sustainable journalism in the digital public sphere. 

Political context

Brazil experienced considerable political turmoil during the transition of power, with an attempted democratic breakdown led by former President Jair Bolsonaro and his supporters between late 2022 and early 2023. The media were one of the main targets of the Bolsonaro administration, which fostered an environment of permanent hostility towards them. As part of a process of stabilising the democratic order, the arrival of the Lula administration allowed the normalisation of relations between state agencies and the press. Public discourse in favour of journalism, respect for governmental commitments to transparency, and concrete progress by the government in defending press freedom have had a tangible impact on journalists. 

Legal framework

The 1988 Federal Constitution guarantees freedom of the press, and, in general, the Brazilian legal framework favours journalistic freedom. But safeguarding a free, pluralistic and reliable information ecosystem still faces many challenges and obstacles. The country lacks a robust policy for protecting journalists, which should be a priority given the history of violence against the media. 

Economic context

Many media have had to close as a result of the transformations in the sector due to emergence of major digital platforms and the redistribution of ad revenue. Major media groups are trying to re-invent their business models in the face of the global media crisis caused by the arrival of these online platforms. They are also diversifying their investments into many other sectors, increasing the risk of conflicts of interest and undermining their already eroded editorial independence. Local media are getting weaker, independent online media outlets are experiencing viability problems, and community radio stations are being throttled financially, which threatens their autonomy. 

Sociocultural context

The aggressive rhetoric toward journalists and the media deployed during the four years of the Bolsonaro administration has encouraged an increasingly hostile and distrustful attitude towards journalists within Brazilian society. The scale that disinformation has assumed in the country continues to poison the public debate. Brazil remains highly polarised, and the attacks on the press, frequent on social media, have paved the way for repeated physical attacks against journalists, as seen in particular during the 2022 elections and the riots of 8 January 2023 in Brasilia.


During the past decade, at least 30 journalists have been murdered in Brazil, the region’s second deadliest country for reporters during that period. Most vulnerable are bloggers, radio hosts and independent journalists working in small- and medium-sized municipalities, covering corruption and local politics. Online harassment and violence against journalists, especially women, are on the rise. At least three murders were directly linked to journalism in 2022, including that of British reporter Dom Phillips, killed in the Amazon while he was investigating environmental crimes committed on indigenous land.

Abuses in real time in Brazil

Killed since 1st January 2024
0 journalists
0 media workers
Detained as of today
1 journalists
0 media workers