chapter  5
14 Pages

Captured media?

Examining Brazilian coverage of Lava Jato 1
WithDaniela Campello, Anya Schiffrin, Karine Belarmino, Debora Thome

The chapter showcases some of the recent research about media coverage of Lava Jato, a topic that—as the previous chapter describes—galvanized the electorate in the years it unfolded. Recent academic research finds that the coverage was excessively focused on the left-leaning Workers’ Party, and particularly lenient with the other political parties involved in the scandal. More time and attention was given to Workers’ Party officials accused of corruption than officials in other parties. Whether this bias contributed to the October 2018 election of far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro is a question for further research. Certainly, the question of media bias has become more urgent and relevant as have questions about the role of social media, particularly WhatsApp, in spreading disinformation before the election.