Digital Media Policy in Brazil

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Interview with Cláudio Prado, Head of the Department of Digital Policy, Ministry of Culture (Brazil)

Q1 In the Digital Era, it’s possible to broadcast TV programs through the Internet. In Japan, only 7% of the TV contents are available in the web, due to strict copyrights policies. Please tell us about the present situation in Brazil and what is the government’s position about media convergence and copyright policies?

We believe that media convergence has been obliging the world to reconsider some legal marks. The digital broadcast of is a fantastic chance to spread knowledge access. In Brazil, the Ministry of Culture has been holding a National forum to discuss with the society what should be changed on those legal marks. Our efforts are concentrated in finding a balance between the authors’ right to protect their own creations and the universal right of access to information.

Q2 The Brazilian government has chosen the Japanese standard for digital TV. Is there any program or project to promote technical or contents exchange between the two countries?

Yes, there are exchanges in the technical field, but not for contents. For the contents, I believe we should create ways to make an effective digital collaboration.

Q3. Although the Internet brought conveniences and advantages to our daily lives, a lot of bad influences were brought up to the society. For example, in Japan, we had an increase in criminality, prostitution and drugs problems, mainly among the young generation. Trying to solve those problems, the Japanese government prohibited minors than 18yo to have their own blogs.

In Brazil, there is a relation between Internet and criminality increase? If yes, what are the necessary steps to be taken to avoid or decrease those problems? This issue is a very contemporary issue all over the world. We cannot affirm that the Internet contributed to increase criminality or prostitution. These are social issues, maybe human issues.

Post, media, telephone, radio, TV, all these innovations had brought enormous advantages to the world, but in some way, they also brought problems related to criminality. To criminalize innovations is a worldwide tendency. And we believe we should widely discuss this issue with all the population. In Brazil, we’ve been working on this.

Q4. The Pontos de Cultura (Hotspots) project is bringing multimedia studios and internet access to more than 700 grassroots communities all over Brazil was focusing on cultural and creative exchange. Can it also contribute to improve quality in elementary education?

The Brazilian government is working hard in this issue. Internet at Schools, One computer per student, public broadband are some of those project. But we need to rethink what is a school in the digital era? What should be the teacher’s role when all students have information online? We found out that Pontos de Cultura are new learning spaces. Lots of experiences have been discussed and exchanged with local schools, but not officially yet.

Q5. When the Internet gets into those grassroots communities, can we expect the population to express their ideas and lives through blogs, social medias such as YouTube or other medias to the country or even to the world?

This is becoming a big tendency in Brazil. Brazilians are expressing themselves through audiovisual media more and more. And at those Pontos de Cultura, we teach the students how to use audiovisual tools in open source software.

Q6. Tell us about the present situation of the digital journalism in Brazil. Here in Japan, big media companies don’t see independent blogs well. In Brazil, is there any pressure over the bloggers by big media?

Printing media circulation has decrease a lot. Here almost all journalists have their own blog. Is this what you mean independent blogs? Blogs are becoming an important news agency not only for the people but also for the former medias. How come making pressure against bloggers?

Q7. How do the big tradicional media—specially the TV— see the Internet? Don’t they criticize or make pressure against the exclusively digital media?

Surely, every big or small media has to deal with the Internet boom. Criticism and pressure will always exist against any innovations.

Q8. As one of the BRICS, how will Brazil conduct the internal creative contents policy, in particular related to music and TV programs? What are the expectations for “exporting” these contents?

What is the meaning of “to export contents” in the Digital Era? It is certainly very different if comparing to the 20th century. Every time we click in the web, we are putting sending something to the cyberspace. It’s a transnational territory. We have to reinvent everything in the Digital Era. To upload is to export, isn’t it?

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This page contains a single entry by Marcos Sadao Maekawa published on July 31, 2008 12:37 AM.

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