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Revista de Sociologia e Política

versão On-line ISSN 1678-9873


FUKS, Mário. Bad news: Estado de Minas newspaper coverage and public image of the Minas Gerais state legislature (1999-2003). Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2010, vol.18, n.36, pp.257-276. ISSN 1678-9873.

This article examines the newspaper Estado de Minas' coverage of the Minas Gerais Legislature. The following question provides the basis for the text's organization: could the consolidation of a wide project of institutional innovation geared toward democratization and modernization have contributed to the creation of a favorable context for development of a positive public image for the Minas Gerais' State Legislature (ALMG)? We argue that several adverse factors blocked the creation, in the 14th Legislature, of such a context, among which we have identified: 1) the dual ALMG logic, active and innovative in its institutional model but preserving the traditional vices of Brazilian patterns of parliamentary behavior; 2) ALMG institutional development, which insofar as it partook of institutional routine, did not generate newsworthy events; 3) the prevalence of negative attitudes on the part of media professionals and a large portion of the Minas public regarding actors and political institutions, seen as an undifferentiated mass, which in turn made it hard to see the Legislature as something different from the sum total of state representatives; 4) diminished ALMG presence in political coverage, with the shift which began in the year 2000 in the Estado de Minas editorial line. We conclude that communications media have, at the same time, been perfecting themselves in promoting an information environment favorable to constituency's control over representatives and deteriorating, in the sense of "worse information on the good performance" of political institutions.

Palavras-chave : Political communication; public image; institutional innovation.

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