The Social Communication Council of Brazil's Congress issued a statement Monday (Jul. 4) expressing “concern” about the future of Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC), Brazil's national public media corporation, which is part of the national public service broadcasting system provided for in the Brazilian Constitution enacted in 1988.
The statement was proposed by David Emerich, who urged the council to take a stance about rumored and recent changes at the EBC, including the recent chief executive replacement. “The Congress Council on Social Communication has been monitoring closely, with concern, the rumors about the future of the EBC. In this context, we reaffirm our firm belief in the authority of the constitutional provisions on the complementary roles of public and private broadcasting, which are deeply rooted in the restoration of democracy in Brazil since 1988,” the statement said.
The council members said the broadcaster may “adjust its course”, but any changes “must not be used as an excuse to block the ideal of public service media”.
“The EBCmust stick to its historical mission and resist any attempts to turn into a manipulation tool either by the government or on behalf of any ideological beliefs. It should always pursue diversity and provide opportunities to all the voices within the society. [And it should do so based on an] understanding that its funds, which are public, should be used efficiently and to high standards of administrative accountability, in line with the Constitution,” said the note signed by the council chairman, Miguel Ângelo Cançado.
During the debates, another council member, Nascimento Silva, discussed “rumors” that have been circulated that the EBCor its television channel, TV Brasil, could be closed down. “There have been recurring threats that the law [that established the EBC] could be changed to reduce the EBC's independence, as well as rumors about dismantling the Board of Trustees or TV Brasil and, therefore, we must listen to the society about the future of the EBC,” he said.
Emerich noted that “the Constitution is clear” about the on the need for complementary public and private media systems in Brazil. He argued that the debate on the role of the EBCshould not be biased. “We must strip this debate of ideology whether it's the market's attitude to public media or the side of public media stakeholders,” he said.
The council has also approved the list of participants at a seminar that will discuss the future of the EBCand its social role, to be held on August 8.
Translated by Mayra Borges
Fonte: Agência Brasil.