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Intercom: Revista Brasileira de Ciências da Comunicação

versão impressa ISSN 1809-5844versão On-line ISSN 1980-3508

Intercom, Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Comun. vol.43 no.2 São Paulo maio/ago. 2020  Epub 04-Set-2020 


It is not enough to inform, you have to participate: the insertion of journalists in the new diverse formats of telejournalism

Ana Carolina Rocha Pessoa Temer1

Simone Antoniaci Tuzzo1

1(Universidade Federal de Goiás, Faculdade de Informação e Comunicação, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Comunicação. Goiânia – GO, Brasil).


This work is part of a reflection on Communication and Journalism, developed at the Laboratory of Critical Reading of the Media, at UFG, Brazil. The focus of the analysis is the column “Tô de Folga”, published on Fridays in the “Jornal Hoje”, a newscast with a large audience and one of the oldest still broadcasted by Globo TV Network. The analysis highlights the “starletization” of journalism, its approach to entertainment and the aspects that punctuate this strategy at a time when telejournalism faces audience problems, competition from new forms of information circulation and tension in its relationship with the State.

Keywords Diversional Journalism; Starletization; “Tô de Folga”; Critical analysis; Television


Este trabalho é parte de uma reflexão sobre Comunicação e Jornalismo, desenvolvida no Laboratório de Leitura Crítica da Mídia, da UFG, Brasil. O foco da análise é a coluna “Tô de Folga”, veiculada às sextas-feiras no Jornal Hoje, telejornal de grande audiência e um dos mais antigos ainda no ar da Rede Globo de Televisão. A análise destaca a vedetização do jornalismo, sua aproximação com o entretenimento e os aspectos que pontuam essa estratégia em um momento que o telejornalismo enfrenta problemas de audiência, a concorrência de novas formas de circulação da informação e o tensionamento de sua relação com o Estado.

Palavras-chave Jornalismo Diversional; Vedetização; Tô de Folga; Análise Crítica; Televisão


Este trabajo es parte de una reflexión sobre Comunicación y Periodismo, desarrollada en el Laboratorio de Lectura Crítica de los Medios, de la UFG, Brasil. El foco del análisis es la columna “Tô de Folga”, transmitida a los viernes en “Jornal Hoje”, telediario de gran audiencia y uno de los más antiguos aún en el aire de la Red Globo de Televisión. El análisis destaca la vedetización del periodismo, su acercamiento con el entretenimiento y los aspectos que puntualizan esa estrategia en un momento que el telediario enfrenta problemas de audiencia, la competencia de nuevas formas de circulación de la información y el tensado de su relación con el Estado.

Palabras clave Periodismo Diversional; Vedetización; Tó de folga; Análisis Critico; Televisión


Journalism companies are institutions in the economic field with active insertions in the social and cultural life of a society. Because of this relationship, the journalist, in order to fulfill the defining task of the profession - to inform about everything that is linked to the public interest - relies on technical and ethical definitions that, while not being precise, also open spaces for interpretations that tense the political and social forces that determine and, indirectly, subsidize this professional practice.

In general terms, the journalism professional oscillates between technical considerations and the ethical guidelines that ideally regulate the activity, while boosting its public service character, but also tempering its content with answers to the desires (sometimes bizarre, punctual or even selfish) portions of their receivers.

In this relationship, the citizen who has the right to information becomes the consumer who also seeks leisure options, placing journalism between his social commitment and the economic conditions essential to his existence.

These considerations have delimited the works that are concerned with analyzing the relationship between, for example, journalism and politics, but are compromised when journalism is dedicated to subjects that, even though are considered lighter, also hide interest and ideologies, in the perception of values that govern contemporaneity. In this way, the perception of the individual journalist is also obliterated, that is, who is and what is their role in the transmission of information.

In Brazilian telejournalism, these issues have become even more tense due to the drop in the audience of the main television networks, which, although are still considered as the main (if not only) vehicles of journalistic information for considerable portions of the population, feel the competition from new forms of informative content and social networks, which created new models of exposure of aspects previously considered private or of strictly family interest.

It is important to note that, also as a result of this scenario, the portion of the population that remains on open TV due to the lack of conditions to migrate or, at least, mix information from other sources, for financial, social and educational reasons, makes the format and the aesthetics production of open TV programs to become suitable for this audience, often with difficulties to interpret more complex information and, therefore, demanding a more informal language.

Inserted in this context, the proposal of the column “Tô de Folga” emerges, which brings journalists living with tourists and passersby in different cities and spaces dedicated to leisure. Presented weekly by “Jornal Hoje”, on the air since 2008 on Globo TV Network and broadcasted shortly after one o’clock in the afternoon, it has a loyal audience and a reference status for competing broadcasters.

Including such columns adds little to the style of the newscast, which has always dedicated space to matters of tourism and other content considered light. The difference is that, in the current proposal, the journalist inserts himself in the practice of extreme sports and closely follows the routine of some interviewees/characters, presenting proposals and ideas to increase the fun.

The term “Tô de Folga”, column title from “Jornal Hoje”, suggests a double interpretation, that is, a hint of places to be visited by viewers when they are on vacation and holidays; but also, that the journalist himself is off duty, leaving his states/cities of origin to enjoy different touristic places in Brazil. The term ‘column’ and not frame, usually used for this type of journalistic production, is defined by Globo TV Network/“Jornal Hoje”, both on TV and on the Internet.

This article intends to raise questions about the attempts to approach journalism - real - with entertainment, through an unusual version of diversional journalism. In addition, study the importance of these contents for television news and whether they make up a mandatory scope for television news.

From this perspective, we seek to point out in this text the strategies of journalism; the reach, the importance of diversional journalism and the journalist’s own “starletizarion”1 as an action to enhance journalism itself.

Journalists going beyond the news

The concept of the journalist’s “starletization”1 here assumes the appropriation of the sense of star, that is, of the actresses who stood out in artistic presentations, in theater, in shows; that person who stands out in front of a group. It is also inspired by the concept applied by Coutinho (2001, s/p.):

[...] by overflowing the imaginary and reaching information, mass culture would end up imposing a dramatization on the news report. In addition, there would be a process of ‘starletization’, in which their private lives as actors of society and of the star system would become public, always as a report of confidences, based on emotional appeal.

Regarding the journalist’s “starletization”, Lopes and Vieira (2004, p. 119) define as:

Starlet presenters that are most easily found on most popular television stations. Infotainment thus provokes, in France the emergence of this new category, the entertaining journalist [...] this spectacular journalism has made even the traditional news programs, in order to provide greater dramatization to the facts reported, use cinema resources [ ...].

The authors go further, explaining that this movement of “starletization” gains strength when it is inserted in the curricula of universities. In the authors’ view:

This transgenic seems to have a long future, since on the one hand, it presents a consumer market, on the other, it already has mechanisms designed to perpetuate them. In Brazil, private colleges identified with ‘starletization’, the media showcase built by the animators of such television programs - it is also present on the radio and in magazines - created disciplines of entertainment journalism, aiming at training professionals for this model.

(LOPES; VIEIRA, 2004, p. 119).

In this way, telejournalism has invested in the growth of the ‘starletization’ processes of the newscasters. These aspects are clear in other spaces of Globo TV Network’s own programming, in contents such as the “Profissão Repórter” program, for example.

In fact, in the commemorative book on the 10th anniversary of the program, Caco Barcellos (2016, p. 11-12), presenter reporter, says that the program was created “to air real life in real time [...] our reporters/producers will move simultaneously, with their own narration, ensuring a different look on each side involved in the story”. The journalist also points out that in the construction of the program’s format, the concern was “why not share with the public the doubts and emotions, the attempts and errors that are part of the process of building the entire report?” (BARCELLOS, 2016, p. 13). Despite Barcellos (2016, p. 39) affirming that “reporters are not characters, they are storytellers and must never lose the main focus: ordinary people who make the story”; it is added that for the team that designed the new program format, the main objective was to pass the emotion of the event to the public. “Reporters who, in addition to telling [...], would share their emotions with the public. These emotions that many of us - the so-called experienced journalists - lose over time, with each report, or that we learn to disguise in front of the cameras” (BARCELLOS, 2016, p. 13).

In the company’s discourse, this would not imply secondary information, but since television news time is limited, emotional outbursts interfere qualitatively and quantitatively in the information. In practice, emotional reporters determine that the image frame is turned to his/her angle, highlighting what arouses their emotion, affecting the scenario of construction of the report - that is, the formatting of images (image information) that are fundamental elements for understanding facts by the recipients.

In this regard, it is important to point out that, in television news, not everything that is shown occurs in real time, and even when it does, the construction of journalistic material goes through carefully thought and worked out frames, camera choices and editing processes. In this set, it is highlighted that the option of presenting emotion above information is not neutral. The journalistic material transformed into a story to be told, starts to be selected or to have its aspects highlighted based on proportions of suffering that can be exposed by the reporter, and not by the quality of the information itself. Consequently, there is much more opinionated and spectacular journalism than informational.

The column “Tô de Folga”, object of study of this work, follows a similar path. Although the focus is not suffering, but leisure, the opinion and spectacular aspects overlap the informational character, which, in simple terms, can result in a compromise in the quality of information.

Diversional journalism and its scope

Based on what Marques de Melo (2010) defines, diversional journalism takes up elements of literature in the construction of the journalistic text. The narrative elements of the traditional journalistic text, which reinforce elements such as objectivity and neutrality, are broken or loosened, allowing the journalistic material to be based on a more subjective or less factual approach. Diversional journalism proposes to go “beyond the facts”, subverting the existence of a rigid formula, which would be the basis of the traditional journalistic text, but providing additional elements such as subjective interpretations of reality.

It is noteworthy, however, that this definition can also be applied to other types of journalistic content that seek to assert themselves in contemporary analyzes, such as investigative, literary, gonzo journalism, among others. In view of these possibilities, Marques de Melo (2010, p. 3) delimits diversional journalism as:

[...] a variant of analytical-educational journalism, matrix of the interpretive genre. Likewise, a segment of an emotional and hedonistic nature appears, nourished by the civilization of leisure, configuring the diversional genre, whose identity falters between the real world and the imaginary narrative.

For Marques de Melo (2010), the concept of diversional journalism involves the emotional/hedonistic nature, in a relationship of proximity or meeting the needs of the “civilization of leisure”. In this way, in addition to the textual aspects, diversional journalism must be defined based on its objectives: to serve an audience avid for emotions, pleasure, entertainment, spectacle and resistant to effort, depth and patience. It is a light journalism, based on elements that refer to what is aesthetically attractive, but which is also fun and pleasurable.

In telejournalism, this relationship involves the use of cinema resources, in a narrative that is more visual than verbal, but which also relies on adjectives, hyperbole, eventual suspense (even if intentionally constructed), scares, screams, questions and a lot of emotion.

In practical terms, diversional journalism is strategic for news programs, as it offers the opportunity to score with light content, factual material of great impact. But the advantages of this material grow exponentially with the insertion of the service, which in addition to the qualities of the diversional, has didactic or formative aspects, which includes the presentation of new ideas and even ideological contents that allow the reinforcement or reformation of perceptions about people, places and professional activities.

Journalism in television, journalism for television

The development of the press as a social institution arose from the need for a communication system that, from the development of printing technology, would meet the operational needs for the circulation of information in an expanded, mobile and complex society. This fact, which has been marked by contradictory interests since its birth, is strained by the process of institutionalization of electronic means of communication, mainly radio and television, which make it possible to reach large numbers of people from different backgrounds and social classes, without prior physical or social agglutination, in a context of urban and industrial revolution.

The television operating model reflects the view of networked and affiliated broadcasters; and it also seeks the centrality of contents and unification of the programming grid intended for a broad, depersonalized and nationalized audience, but increasingly more individualized in its form of reception.

In these new habits, Brazilian television audience, due to the unique characteristics that determined their formation, among them the low literacy and the valorization of a modernization project that saw on television an element of reaffirmation, makes telejournalism a content of great importance in the programming grid.

In fact, telejournalism is decisive in the construction of the symbolic power of the environment, since it interposes itself as a public service for the population and a space for the dissemination of truth and important facts for society. But the commitment to the truth, a defining element of journalism, gains strength in Brazilian television from particular conditioning elements, which involve the use of seductive technical, visual and aesthetic resources, including the capture and treatment of information. Brazilian television not only invested in the elaboration of visually attractive and aesthetically competent news programs, but also sought in the technique and quality of the reproduction of images a kind of guarantee of fidelity and veracity.

Throughout its many years on the air, Brazilian television news, in a model led by Globo TV Network, has been supported by the strategy of presenting itself as the great window for monitoring the most important facts in Brazil and the world, while claiming the role of voice of social agents, charged with denouncing and even seeking solutions to problems of public and/or structural order.

These elements, which, among other things, guarantee a consubstantial role for television as a social actor in Brazil’s busy political, economic and social scenario, have demanded large investments in improvement, but also have brought about new formats and content that can guarantee an increasing more disputed and not so loyal audience.

In practical terms, this also meant investments in new formats and content and, in particular, the approach and loyalty of the audience through the so-called diversional journalism and service journalism, a term coined in the United States (DIEZHANDINO, 1994) which, when translated into Portuguese, implies the notion of contents that aim to provide a service, in the sense of guiding or even awakening the viewer’s awareness of a problem.

Initially, the term seems to be linked to women’s magazines or journalism aimed at the female audience and Jofilly (1991, p. 98-99) describes it as having as its main objective “saving time and money for the reader”. The intention of service journalism, therefore, is to serve as a guide for readers, to inform them about advantageous options for services and consumption, but also to provide guidance on social rights and other aspects of the individual’s relationship with public and private institutions.

In this relationship, service journalism involves suggestions/guidelines that can range from information on business and economics, individual rights or comments/diverse guidelines on rights and duties and other issues involving the State, such as service access links (income tax return declaration form, among others), but also tips on food and diet, etiquette, leisure and tourism options.

It is in this last relationship that the column “Tô de Folga” is inserted, which clearly intends to present alternative spaces for national tourism, leveraging possibilities for sightseeing and differentiated sports practices. Here it is clear that there is a claim. Whether this becomes real is another matter to be discussed.

In this sense, the column shows the search for experimentation with new formats and contents, which invite the audience to insert themselves symbolically in the news, but also assumes the presumption of telejournalism as a symbolic system in view of the relations established by the journalists who participate in the elaboration of the material.

They represent privileged individuals in the microcosm of the world of work, since they are inserted in an activity that, being socially recognized as of great importance, also have access to differentiated information and to the experiences and pleasures that differentiate them from other workers. In this sense, the column proposal also considers the insertion of news professionals in the news program itself, passing on the idea that participation in the column represents a kind of “recognition or award” inherent to the function itself.

However, what is questioned in this analysis is whether this process of journalists’ “starletization”, or even their exhibition as themselves in a space of escape from the world of events, also constitutes a denial of the journalistic function itself of informing and constructing socially the daily routine, presenting a kind of escape plan from a reality that becomes more and more complex. Another line is to question whether the hegemony and legitimacy of television journalism, threatened by the fragility of institutions in the Brazilian scenario, seeks new spaces for its recognition and maintenance of its audience, approaching characteristic formats of entertainment.

Globo TV Network, “Jornal Hoje” and “Tô de Folga” - a trajectory

To understand the inclusion of diverse content in television news, it is also necessary to understand how the relationship between telejournalism in Brazil is marked by evident business interests (even though complex), which, in turn, opens up possibilities for sensationalist appeals and a permanent anchoring in a speech - which is not always reflected in actions - in defense of the ethical issues that define journalism: the journalist’s truth as a combatant in the defense of truth and information.

Brazilian television inherited from the radio an illiterate public and, in general, in the process of adapting to an industrial urban modernity that has as one of its central aspects the consumption of goods and services. From this context, this audience tends to link the truth with the images displayed on the newscast screens, reinforcing the visuality of the information. In telejournalism, the journalist is the one who is part of a strategy to build telejournalistic credibility as a guarantor in loco for the popular expression “it is true because I saw it”.

This relationship is evidenced mainly from 1969, the debut year of “Jornal Nacional”, a news program whose bases are grounded on the tripod of technology, aesthetics and pseudo-neutrality / objectivity. The first two elements of this base are translated into a clean look - metallic blue (reinforcing the human achievement of reaching the moon), but the aesthetic is also reinforced by the progressive presence of reporters outside the studios, where the event takes place. Having journalists on the streets, witnessing the event, reinforces the competence of the newscast itself, and values the alleged neutrality / objectivity, which in turn is reinforced by an incisive speech and stripped of adjectives, in which the factual function and the present tense predominated (and still predominates). The ensemble was completed by the serious - if not to say pompous - narration of newsmen, largely from the radio, endowed with powerful voices and timbres.

The strategic use of these elements in television news was defining for their importance in the programming grid of television stations, and in particular of Globo TV Network. But the consequences also affected the vehicles that orbited (orbit) around the television - and that started to provide the public with information about the next chapters of the soap operas and the private life of the idols that emerge on the screen. These contents included - whenever possible - data on TV journalists/newsmen.

Having won the primacy of the audience, the cast of Globo TV Network telejournalism was an object of public interest. This relationship was reinforced after changes in the format of television news narratives, which, like the process of redemocratization in the country, occurred slowly and gradually. Little by little, the growth of the audience of the new networks built on the Tupi estate, affected Globo TV Network news. From the 1990s on, the broadcaster took over the expression Community Journalism, misrepresenting the concept that has long been used in studies on journalism, and invests in a coverage whose appeal is a discourse of valuing citizenship, through complaints about the problems of urban infrastructure and issues related to violence and corruption, but which also opens space for greater exposure of journalists linked to affiliated broadcasters.

In this new approach, the image of journalists/newsmen changes progressively. Cid Moreira’s model - serious and distant - is replaced by friendly professionals, built by less rigid speeches and occasional comments - in which there is no lack of irony or indignation, but who are also open to popular expressions and possible slang, in a simulated dialogue with the receptor.

This relationship subtly resembles the model used in hybrid programs2 - particularly in women’s magazines - and was absorbed differently by the newscasts of the broadcaster, since, although they are based on a characteristic model of the broadcaster, it is also noticeable that each newscast has its own identity, fostered according to the broadcast time and the potential audience perceived by the broadcaster. This identity, at the same time subtle and evident, makes it possible to insert attractions - which in television news would correspond (in a superficial relationship) to fixed sections of the printed newspaper.

In this set of possibilities, “Jornal Hoje”, one of the oldest on the broadcaster, was aired for the first time on April 21, 1971 and, since its debut, it has been proposed to be a women’s magazine that did not dispense with the morning news. Thus, it had more flexibility in the inclusion of themes and contents of diversional journalism. This set of contents featured articles on travel and tourism, but the issue gained new outlines in the column “Tô de Folga”.

The column “Tô de Folga” was aired for the first time in February 2008, presented by Léo Batista and Luís Jatobá. On the website Globo Memory, the column is ready to give leisure tips for holidays and weekends, prepared by local reporters. Current presenters are Sandra Annemberg and Evaristo Costa.

Break from the news, but with emotion and work

Displayed weekly on Fridays in “Jornal Hoje”, the column “Tô de Folga” has as its central axis to take journalists from the different broadcasters that are part of the network – Globo TV Network itself and affiliates - to tourist cities far from the place of their professional activity, in a simulation in which these professionals enjoy leisure or vacation moments.

The proposal involves visits to famous touristic spots, but also points out new options for the public, presenting little-known places. In terms of style or the possibility of touristic exploration, the diversity of the places visited by television journalists is considerable. Based on a previous follow-up through the television and through the newscast website, three editions of “Tô de Folga” for this work were selected. It was chosen a sample that brought journalists from different regions, but also favored variety in the choice of different places visited by them.

Thus, the sample consists of the reports by Kíria Meurer from Florianópolis (SC), visiting the Camamu Bay, in Bahia, shown on February 3, 2017; the adventure of the journalist Michaella Rincon, who left Rio Grande do Norte to explore Bento Gonçalves, in Rio Grande do Sul, shown on March 17, 2017; and the trip of Ana Zimermam, who left straight from the Lava-Jato3 in Curitiba to São José da Coroa Grande, shown on May 5, 2017.

Still on prior monitoring and material selection, it was found that the involvement of reporters and the choice of locations privilege the South, Southeast and Northeast regions, having found an episode that presents Alter do Chão, in the North region, and the transfer of the reporter Fábio Castro, from Goiânia, in the Midwest region, to Morro de São Paulo (BA). No other locations or participants were found in the North or Midwest region. Since they constitute exceptions within the production standard, these episodes were not selected for analysis. The analysis of the programs was based on the Critical Discourse Analysis, consolidated in Fairclough (2003), which used the expression ‘Critical Discourse Analysis’ for the first time in an article published in the Journal of Pragmatics, in 1985, based on a perception of language as an irreducible part of social life dialectically interconnected to other social elements.

In a critical analysis, we can see that the reporter Kíria Meurer from Florianópolis (SC) paid a visit to Camamu Bay, in Bahia, as a tourist, boarding the schooner, showing the islands that made up the place or trying the cuisine as a tourist who goes through the experience for the first time. The emotion experienced by the reporter is a striking point in the story, which tries to convey this feeling to viewers, inviting them to live the same feeling.

Michaella Rincon left Rio Grande do Norte to explore Bento Gonçalves, in Rio Grande do Sul, and showed that the Serra Gaúcha has more than wine and fondue to offer. The reporter played extreme sports in the park that focused on outdoor activities. According to the journalist, the spirit of the script was to challenge her own limits to discover what the emotions in these experiences are. The reporter tried bungee jumping, tree climbing, rappelling in the mountains, quadricycle biking across the river and mud, rafting down the rapids of a river and zip lining. In each sport, the concern was to insert the viewer into the emotion and complicity of the experience.

Ana Zimermam left Curitiba to visit São José da Coroa Grande in Pernambuco. When presenting the column in “Jornal Hoje”, the presenter Sandra Annemberg insisted that the reporter deserved a break, after all, she was working in “Operação Lava-Jato” and, thus, said that Ana Zimermam would rest for a while, in rivers and natural pools that form at low tide in São José da Coroa Grande. In the leisure schedule, there was a catamaran ride, stand up paddle, kayak and diving in the calm sea with a visit to the corals. The highlight of this experience of diving trip was the encounter of fresh and salt water. The reporter closed the story saying that she was already in the mood to return and the presenter resumed the scene reaffirming: “You deserve this break”!

The speeches confirm the hypothesis that the name “Tô de Folga” is used by the broadcaster in both directions, that is, the tip for viewers, but also the need to show Globo TV Network presenters/journalists at rest/vacation, being able to participate in amusements and sports activities (especially those that require effort and courage) and relax in the tourist attractions they present as travelers and not as journalists.

This representation, of course, erases the aspects that involve the production of the material broadcasted and all the work related to this activity, in which the journalist is removed from the factual material, but remains at the service of the broadcaster even when he is apparently off duty.


Raising considerations about the content of journalism and/or the importance of diversional content in television news involves a certain complexity. Journalism is a discursive production that, at the same time that it selects, organizes and distributes information, also assumes the function of “conjuring its powers and dangers, dominating its random event, evading its heavy and fearful materiality (FOUCAULT, 2008, p. 26), inserted in a social group “constituted by fields, microcosms or spaces of objective relations, which have their own logic, not reproduced and irreducible to the logic that governs other fields” (BOURDIEU, 1996, p. 50).

In this sense, it is important to remember that Groth (2011), when he first started studying journalism, already warned the need not to confuse journalism with journalistic products (newspapers, magazines, among others). The same applies to the relationship between journalism and journalists. This is because journalism is, at the same time, a relationship between the technical/technological possibilities of reproducing information, company and ethical commitment to the truth and service to the public. The insertion of journalists is in the three elements: in technical production (the mastery of languages and techniques for producing content), in the business relationship, as an employee or provider of paid services, but it takes on specific aspects with regard to the relationship to ethical commitment.

Journalism is also a professional activity, the basis of which involves relying on journalists to check facts and give them public life. In the case of journalism, these delimitations are also due to the delimitation of the locus that the individual journalist occupies in the social space and the very ethos that involves this professional practice. Ethos, therefore, refers to the statement that the individual elaborates about himself, as it concerns the “tone, character and quality of life, his moral and aesthetic style, and his disposition is the underlying attitude towards himself and to your world that life reflects” (GEERTZ, 1989, p. 94). At the same time, ethos establishes a perception of the individual’s relationship with society, legitimizing the discourse about himself and his actions.

It is not surprising, therefore, that journalistic activity is punctuated by professional jargon, usually derived from strategic or performance rituals that define professional actions4. However, new possibilities for the circulation of information, added to internal issues - such as the deregulation of the profession itself5 and, in the case of open signal television, the change in the profile of receivers and the gradual removal of an audience - generated the need to value the activity and, by extension, the press professionals themselves.

Although this proposal tends to the ethical relations inherent in the activity and, eventually, it clashes with the professional ethos itself in portraying the “off duty” journalists and, more explicitly, practicing extreme sports and other activities that require courage, “Jornal Hoje” explores a relationship that goes beyond journalistic activity with information.

This is because, in journalism, the relationship of trust with the reader does not depend only on “what is said”, but also on the trust in those who state the fact, in the contract signed between the journalist and the reader (VERÓN, 2004). And although the contract is firm in the relationship of journalism with the truth, it also includes - surreptitiously, a relationship of courage for the journalist/journalism to tell the truth even when it is contrary to the interest of the institutions.

Considering these aspects, the proximity to entertainment and the “starletization” of journalism professionals should not be seen only as a strategy for living with social networks, although it also meets this need. In a time of crisis, in which journalism faces new models of information circulation and, above all, in a time of crisis in the narrative about Brazil, in which journalism itself becomes a vector for denouncing a large number of corruption actions and illegalities that affect Brazilian politics (and especially politicians), it is essential to humanize the image of journalists, and even to go further: to make them as individuals endowed with great curiosity and, above all, exceptional courage.

Of course, the relationship also has a business marketing aspect, as it shows Globo TV Network recognizing and rewarding its press professionals, who are presented as enjoying a well-deserved vacation, but also as happy and satisfied journalists with the profession. In this way, the presentation of journalists in “Tô de Folga” goes beyond the provision of services, also going beyond the idea of journalistic neutrality/objectivity, since it is supported by the reinforcement of what Viera Filho (1991) will call the Clark Kent Complex6.

Thus, observing the situations in which fiction colors the profession7 with the day-to-day of a permanent and wonderful adventure (VIEIRA FILHO, 1991), we also have real reports in which journalists demonstrate that courage is a trait of the journalist’s own personality, because it manifests itself even in the moments of rest. At this point, it is possible to see that the insertion of “Tô de Folga” involves a tangle of relationships woven (not necessarily consciously) between various actors: communication entrepreneurs, journalists and even the recipients of content, which, more than they never feel the need to reaffirm the existence of courage and heroism.

1The term “starletization” was used by the author Morin (2001) in his book called “The Stars” from 1961. In the book, this term is used to describe the process of becoming a starlet.

2In principle, hybrid programs are re-combinations of existing genres that, after some time, consolidate as a new genre; but the term also applies to programs and content that use already consolidated formats, mixing entertainment and journalism, for example.

3Operation Car Wash (Portuguese: Operação Lava-Jato) is an ongoing criminal investigation by the Federal Police of Brazil, Curitiba Branch.

4Among these jargon, we highlight the expression a little out of use: “when the journalist is bigger than the news one of the two is false”, phrase repeated in the newsrooms, and attributed by journalist Silvio Brassan to Antônio Carlos Magalhães. Available at: Accessed on: 3 mar. 2017

5The end of the diploma requirement for the professional practice of journalism.

6Journalist who is the alter-ego of Superman.

7In fiction, the presence of journalists goes beyond comics, but even if limited to this media, there are several examples of journalists in the universe of superheroes. Among them, in Spider-Man, Peter Parker is a photojournalist; April O’Neil, character of the Ninja Turtles; Lois Lane, Superman’s girlfriend; Iris West, a character in The Flash and, more recently, in the television show, Super-Girl herself also works in journalism.


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Received: September 30, 2017; Accepted: April 17, 2020

Post-Doctor in Communication from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (ECO/UFRJ). PhD and Master in Communication from Universidade Metodista de São Paulo and Bachelor in Journalism from ECO/UFRJ. Professor of the Graduate Program in Communication at the Faculdade de Informação e Comunicação (FIC), Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG). Researcher at the Critical Media Reading Laboratory (UFG). Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil. E.mail:

Post-Doctor and PhD in Communication from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (ECO/UFRJ); Master in Social Communication and Bachelor in Public Relations from the Universidade Metodista of São Paulo. Professor of the Graduate Program in Communication at the Faculdade de Informação e Comunicação (FIC), Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG). Researcher at the Critical Media Reading Laboratory - UFG. Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil. E.mail:

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