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Revista Brasileira de Ciência Política

versão impressa ISSN 0103-3352


CAMPOS, Luiz Augusto; FERES JUNIOR, João  e  DAFLON, Verônica Toste. Managing the public debate: O Globo newspaper and the affirmative action controversy. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Polít. [online]. 2013, n.11, pp.7-31. ISSN 0103-3352.

This article examines the editorial strategy employed by the newspaper O Globo in dealing with race-based affirmative action policies, from the texts published by the newspaper on the topic from 2001 to 2008. We give special attention to opinion pieces, in order to test the hypothesis that O Globo exerts strict editorial control in order to present affirmative action as a public controversy. We called the newspaper's strategy "management of the space for debate". Time-based data analysis reveals that (1) O Globo keeps a constant ratio between the number of opinion pieces and the number of news pieces published; and (2) the editors also keep a constant ratio between the number of opinion pieces against race-based affirmative action and the ones for it, with a clear advantage for the former. Our study also shows that while editorials and readers' letters are predominantly against the policy, texts authored by academics and columnists are fairly split between pro and con positions, and the ones written by militants, politicians and bureaucrats are chiefly favorable to affirmative action. In sum, our study shows that O Globo is able to put on a façade of impartiality while exerting a strict management of the space for debate in ways that allow for opinions against race-based affirmative action to have an upper hand.

Palavras-chave : news media; affirmative action; journalism; O Globo.

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