Jair Bolsonaro's presidency in Brazil has seen escalating attacks on journalists in person and on freedom of information more generally. Threats, intimidation, defamation campaigns, lawsuits - often brought directly by the president or his family. Among the targets, two leading women protagonists of Brazilian journalism.
Daniela Pinheiro, former editor of the influential weekly Época, the first woman in her country to edit a periodical, resigned in September 2019 together with other colleagues after a campaign against her led by the president's family after Época published a profile of the president's daughter-in-law.
Patrícia Campos Mello, who revealed the illegal mass use of WhatsApp messages during the 2018 presidential election that Bolsonaro won, was taken to court by Bolsonaro to reveal the sources of her investigation. Patricia won the case and did not have to reveal her sources but she and her family have been the target of an intimidation campaign. See the 12 February 2020 CPJ article entitled Brazilian journalist Patrícia Campos Mello faces online harassment campaign for details of the latest episode.
How do you defend yourself when hatred is instigated from the very top of your country? What lessons - for better or for worse - can the Brazilian experience provide as a once-healthy democracy teeters on the brink of a slide into authoritarianism?
Daniela and Patricia will be interviewed by Barbara Serra.