In recent months, the electoral campaign has provoked a growing movement of aggression against users within social networks, and against newspaper companies and journalists. With the polarization, the supporters of the two presidential candidates who were leading the electoral polls began to attack the media and journalists via social networks – using text and voice messages, expressing dissatisfaction with the news and opinions that displeased them.
In the country there is concern about how the Internet and social networks give free rein to the spread of intolerance and misunderstanding regarding the role of journalism and freedom of the press. In addition to offenses, during this electoral period there was also an increase in fake news – which led several media to create special clarification and refutation bureaus to handle disinformation campaigns in which the media were accused of manipulation.
In this polarized environment, Fernando Haddad – of the Workers Party, announced that if elected he would promote "media regulation," while Jair Bolsonaro – of the Social Liberal Party, expressed his dissatisfaction with journalism, and argued about "the future of press freedom."
The worst events of the semester were the two murders of journalists. On June 21, Jairo Sousa – host at Radio Perla FM in Bragança, in the northern state of Pará, was killed as he arrived at the station. Two men on a motorcycle waited for the journalist near the station and one of them shot him twice. Sousa had been threatened for denouncing acts of corruption involving local businessmen and politicians.
On August 16, radio host Marlon Carvalho was shot dead in Riachão do Jacuípe, in Bahia – in the northeast of the country. Four men entered his house at dawn and killed him. Marlon denounced cases of corruption.
During this period there were three other attacks against journalists and newspaper companies, four acts of vandalism against the headquarters of companies or press vehicles, nine physical attacks against journalists, and 18 threats or intimidations. In all cases of violence, lethal or not, impunity was the norm.
Other relevant events:
In May, at least 15 communicators were assaulted or hospitalized during coverage of the Truckers' Strike – in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Sul, and Santa Catarina.
In the same month, radio host Ilton Santos, from Morrinhos, Ceará, host of "É de Lascar" – a program of the community radio Liberdade FM, was the target of three kidnapping attempts and threats.
Also in May, there were attacks on the sites of data verification agencies, such as Aos Fatos and Lupa.
On July 12, the headquarters of the VipSocial site in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, was attacked – the aggressors left a note stating: "If you continue to support the wrong side, you will suffer the consequences."
On July 30, Guilherme Dearo, editor of the Exame site, received death threats from a member of a hate group in connection with comments about racist reactions to an advertising video.
On the same day, three members of Governor Jorge Teixeira's council – in Rondonia were arrested on suspicion of having radio host Hamilton Alves killed in April of this year.
On August 9, the home of journalist Adenilson Miguel – editor of the Vox newspaper in Bandeira do Sul, Minas Gerais, was hit by a rocket, and police found a threatening note addressed to the communicator.
On September 21, radio host Sandoval Braga Júnior was the target of a shooting attack – in the city of Jaguaruana, Ceará, while he was inside the parking garage of Radio Unión FM.
On Sept. 26, Denilson Paredes – a reporter for the daily A Tribuna, was assaulted when he photographed the dumping of construction waste on the banks of a stream in Rondonópolis, Mato Grosso.
On October 1, former Military Police (MP) sergeant Djalma Gomes da Silva – one of five accused of planning the shooting murder of sports reporter Valério Luiz de Oliveira on July 5, 2012, was subjected to psychological examinations by the Medical Board of the Court of Justice of the State of Goiás. The results of the expertise will be used in the judicial process that also includes Maurício Sampaio, Urbano de Carvalho Malta, Marcus Vinícius Pereira Xavier, Ademá Figueredo and Djalma da Silva, who all await – in freedom, the date on which they will be brought to trial by Popular Jury. In the meantime, Maurício Sampaio was re-elected president of the sports club Atlético Club Goianense.
On October 3, the police opened an inquiry at the CyberCrime Police Station to investigate the threat of rape made on October 2 by an Internet user against the presenter, Anne Barretto, of TV and Radio Jornal de Recife, Pernambuco.
On Sept. 26, Denilson Paredes, a reporter for the daily A Tribuna, was assaulted when he photographed the dumping of construction waste on the banks of a stream in Rondonópolis, Mato Grosso.