Study shows black women are a minority in Brazilian journalism

Journalist Kalinca Nascimento of the VTV Network
Journalist Kalinca Nascimento of the VTV Network

Note from BW of Brazil: This report is yet another confirmation of the types of data that makes a blog like Black Women of Brazil necessary: the under-representation of black women, and black Brazilians in general, in the media, specifically in the area of journalism. Joyce Ribeiro, one the most recognized black female journalists in Brazil participated in a seminar on this topic a few months back and this blog also shined the light on a handful of black female faces that have national recognition in the world of journalism. But they are few and far between in the white-washed, blond ambition of Brazil’s media. 

Study shows black women are a minority in Brazilian journalism

by Monica Aguiar

Data released a few weeks ago by the Federação Nacional dos Jornalistas (National Federation of Journalists or Fenaj) provides data that comes once more brings alarming racial inequalities in Brazil, this time in journalism.

The data indicate that the majority of Brazilian journalists are represented by white women who are unmarried and under 30 years of age. In the total of the category, women represent 64%.

The study Características Demográficas e Políticas dos Jornalistas (Demographic Characteristics of Politics of Journalists) was made from replies from 2,731 Brazilian journalists in all the states and in other countries. Data were collected between September 25 and November 18, 2012, by e-mail, social networks, specialized news channels and search pages on the internet.

The survey data also reveals data the low presence of black men (pretos meaning blacks + pardos meaning browns, according to the classification of the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE or Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) in the profession. Pretos account for 5% of journalists and pardos, 18%. A total of only 23% of blacks, a reality confirmed when we observe the newspapers and journalistic programs in Brazil.

On professional training, the work indicates that nine out of each ten are graduates in journalism, mostly in private educational institutions. Moreover, four in ten have postgraduate courses. The majority defend the demand for some kind of higher education for the exercise of the profession, with more than half in favor of a specific diploma in journalism.

The survey also showed that nearly three quarters of the category are favorable to the creation of a self-regulatory body of the profession. Two thirds have income up to five times the national minimum salary (1) and nearly half of journalists work more than eight hours per day.

It remains to be seen what will be the way to regulate the representation of the percentage of blacks and black women in particular taking into account the composition of the Brazilian population in television stations and newspapers.

This data makes necessary that the society change the concept of the naturalization of invisibility of black men and women on TV, attending to inquiries that COJIRA has performed with agility on Brazil. What are the percentages of black male and female journalists on staffs in newsrooms or in communication advisories compared to that of non-black men and women? What mechanisms have been developed for accessibility, mobility and permanence of journalists of African descent in a market as competitive as that of the production of information and opinion formation?

1. Currently Brazil’s minimum salary is R$678,00 per month which is about US$339 per month. Five times the minimum salary would equal R$3,390 or about US$1,695 per month.

Source: Instituto Sindical Interamericano Pela Igualdade Racial

About Marques Travae 3324 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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