You cannot not see: the media in the June 2013 demonstrations

The June 2013 protests in Brazil caused a veritable political earthquake. Initially demanding the right to affordable public transportation, hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets to express their discontent, which gradually came to include the sluggish progress made in public health and education, corruption and high spending on the upcoming sporting events, all the while demanding more rights and the strengthening of democracy in the country. The media played a decisive role in the protests. While commercial broadcasters sought at first to stigmatize and criminalize the protesters as “vandals”, they were later forced to change, at least partially, their editorial stance by the excesses of police violence. Live coverage of the events on the streets by the alternative press provided diversified information and alternative interpretations that were disseminated on the social media, thus contributing to move up the debate on the democratization of communication on the public agenda. Any political reform must be preceded by a reform of the broadcasting regulatory framework or, at least, of the articles of the Constitution specifically addressing communication. The right to communication is a crosscutting issue as it not only strengthens media plurality, but also ensures civil, economic, and collective rights.