“Without freedom there is no truth.” It is sad that this is an advertising slogan in a country that returned to democracy a quarter of a century ago. This return to normality was not enough to restrict continuous attacks on the press. President Luiz Inácio da Silva always attacks the press or criticizes it excessively when the approach of a news show or commentary does not please him. Recently, in an interview with the magazine Piauí, he even said that reading newspapers gives him heartburn. The words and actions of the government concerning regulation and interference in the operation of media outlets is always of concern since they include the idea of control and intervention in the production of content. The following initiatives stand out. *The government gave up the establishment of a Federal Journalism Council to regulate journalistic activity after a negative reaction from media outlets, journalists, intellectuals and civil society groups. *The government is working to promote a National Communications Conference with the support of nongovernmental organizations and social movements. The initiative is a cause for concern because it would interfere in the content produced by media outlets. Its goals are: to identify the major challenges to the communications sector; to balance the public sector’s actions in the field; to propose guidelines for public communications policies; and set priorities for government actions within these guidelines. *In the context of the conference, a study group was set up to propose changes in existing legislation to make possible a new regulatory system for journalism. The government did not comply with Article 2 of Resolution 342 of the Ministry of Labor and Employment of July 20008, since the group did not have equal representation of the government, the sector and business, as recommended by the International Labor Organization (ILO). In addition, the study group, made up primarily of journalists, insisted on standing firm to keep the obligatory licensing of journalists. This conflicts with the positions of representatives of the companies and even certain government agencies, such as the Education Ministry, which support easing this regulation. The Federal Supreme Court, the highest court in the country, is studying whether the requirement of a degree for a journalist to practice the profession is constitutional. On the other hand, the new press law now being considered in the National Congress would end the requirement of a degree to practice journalism. Finally, 86 proposals are before the National Congress, made up of the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate. Most of them affect the independence of media outlets by restricting advertising. As Roberto Civita, president of the Administrative Council of Grupo Abril, pointed out at the Fourth Brazilian Advertising Congress, “without it it would be impossible to maintain the diversity of the media.” Civita said that advertising is an essential part of free economies and stimulates competition as well as helping to create jobs. He added that “in a world that is so dispersed, it is more and more difficult to control the spread of advertising. “Even so, threats to freedom continue to arise.” The executive criticized the excessive number of cases in the government concerning advertising and said that “with or without advertising the problems will not go away.” He also criticized the tendency of the National Health Protection Agency (Anvisa) to take it upon itself to regulate advertising of alcoholic drinks, medicine and food. A brief review of the news demonstrates that it is difficult for President Lula to accept journalists’ work. Lula has said that it is necessary for him to abstain from the news, especially on weekends. “I would recommend to any president that he withdraw from politicians and the press on the weekends.” The president said he feels extremely well informed without the press. “A man who converses with as many people as I do each day must have thirty newspapers in his head all day long,” he said. “It’s impossible for me to be uninformed.” By keeping himself aloof from the press, he avoids what he calls “distortion,” and he gives the following example: “When we launched the program for people to by construction material with a discount, one important newspaper printed the headline ‘Lula Turns Brazil into a Slum.’ That is a distorted idea of someone who does not have the slightest idea what it means to a poor person to be able to buy construction material to build his house, renovate it, make a garage, or a little shanty.” On October 3, 2008, Judge Luiz Henrique Martins Portelinha, the 101st electoral district of Santa Cataqrina, ordered the seizure of edition 46 of Jornal Impacto of Florianópolis for the second time in a matter of months because of unfavorable reports about Mayor Dário Berger. On October 7, 2008, Judge Flávio Silveira Quaresma, of the 28th electoral district of Rio de Janeiro in Paraíba do Sul, ordered the closure of Entrerios Jornal in Três Rios. At the request of the judge, military police officers occupied the newspaper and ejected all the employees. This outrage was ordered by the judge because the newspaper denied the right of reply granted to Mayor Gil Leal. In these cases legislation provides for a fine, but his ruling said the building of Entrerios Jornal should remain closed for 72 hours. On October 14, 2008, Judge Wagner Roby Gídaro of the 296th electoral district of São Bernardo de Campo, ruled that A Folha Online delete an article about former minister Luiz Marinho, a candidate for mayor of the city. The article, written in 2005, from the archives of Folha Online, is an interview with Klaus Joachim Gebauer, the former human resources manager of Volkswagen, who criticized Luiz Marinho when he was a union member. The candidate’s coalition asked for the article to be censored, arguing that it “refers to a fact without continuity” that was denied at the time by Volkswagen and that is being used by Luiz Marinho’s adversaries. On October 24, 2008, Judge Luiz Henrique Martins Portelinha, of the 101st electoral district of Santa Catarina, ordered the seizure of Jornal Impacto of Florianópolis, because of articles about Mayor Dário Berger. This was the judge’s third attempt to censor the newspaper, and he also ruled that its Web site should be taken down from the Internet. The Brazilian Constitution specifically prohibits censorship no matter what the tone of the information that is transmitted. Anyone who considers that he or she has been libeled or insulted by an article has the right to seek legal remedy for damages and demand the right of reply. The court official who went to the newspaper to communicate the judge’s decision was accompanied by a military police officer who is a member of Mayor Dário Berger’s security detail, an obvious form of intimidation. On November 10, 2008, Paulo Schmidt, a photographer for the site of Rádio Cidade AM of Brusque in Santa Catarina, was arbitrarily arrested by Ademar Brás de Souza, regional civil police chief, while professionally taking pictures of a traffic accident. On December 19, 2008, security officers of the Chamber of Deputies attacked Sérgio Gobetti of the newspaper O Estao de S. Paulo. He was entering the chamber with his press card visibly displayed when he was stopped by the officers in an aggressive manner for no reason. On January 18, 2009, followers of Igreja Renascer, attacked and harassed journalists after the roof of the sect’s world headquarters collapsed in São Paulo, leaving nine people dead and 114 injured. On January 21, 2009, the site of Rede Anhanguera de Comunicação, publisher of the newspapers Correio Popular, Diário do Povo, Gazeta do Cambui, Gazeta de Piracicaba and Gazeta de Riberão in Campinas was attacked. According to the Agência Anhangera de Notícias, at about 9 p.m. the company’s electronic security system showed three youths breaking a window to throw in a grenade. Fortunately, the explosive struck the window, fell into the street near the sidewalk and did not explode. According to the Military Police, which locked down the site, the grenade was highly destructive, and the explosion could have affected people and objects within a 200-meter radius. About three hours after the attack, one of the company’s telephone operators received a threatening call in which a female voice warned: “This is just the beginning.” On February 2, 2009, the newspaper Comércio da Franca was charged under articles of the Press Law, which had been suspended by the Federal Supreme Court (Articles 21, 22 and 23). It is of particular concern that police officials accused of abuse of authority in the reports assumed the right to file a complaint on their own behalf and that the judicial authorities, ignoring evidence of these abusive practices, permitted this intimidating action, initiating and carrying out a case against professionals who were performing their mission to report the news. On February 5, 2009, a minister and security guards of the Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus detained Gustavo Magnusson, a photographer for Rede Anhanguera de Comunicação, demanding that pictures he took of the collapse of part of the surface of the church in Campinas the night before, be suppressed.