Journal article Open Access

The COPY DESK AND THE DILEMMAS OF THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF "MODERN JOURNALISM" IN BRAZIL

de Albuquerque, Afonso; Gagliardi, Juliana

The institutional research of the news media has mainly focused on the American news media and political institutions. By discussing the reform of Diário Carioca newspaper, in the 1950s – usually referred as the birth of modern journalism in Brazil – this article aims to examine the institutionalization of the news media in a different social context. The reform of Diário Carioca newspaper, in the 1950s provides an early example of the influence of the American model of journalism overseas. Its purpose was to replace the French-inspired model of journalism, literary and politically engaged by an informative, fact-centered model of journalism. However, Brazilian journalists did not adopt the American model in a passive manner. They reinterpreted it, in order to make it fit the characteristics of the local society. In order to put the new model into practice the Diário Carioca reformers adopted authoritarian modernization methods: They downplayed reporting in comparison to news writing, endowed the copy desk with a core ideological and normative role in the newsrooms, and significantly reduced the autonomy of the journalists at work. By doing so, they fostered a "professionalization without professionalism" model, and hampered the institutionalization of the new rules introduced by the Diário Carioca.

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