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Back to the future in Brazil

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Back to the future in Brazil

In 1995 Carlos Wagner, a reporter for Zero Hora, the national daily newspaper from RBS,  was sent on a long journey through southern Brazil to report about the lives of migrant workers in the region.

This year he was sent back to the same region to tell a similar story, particularly to see how the migrant lifestyle had changed in that time.

Here is how the two stories were executed:

  • In 1995, Wagner, his driver and lone photographer coverered 30,000 kilometers in 60 days, whereas in 2011, he, his driver, photographer and videographers covered 18,000 kilometers in 30 days.
  • In ’95, he started writing his report some three weeks after he returned; in 2011, he was writing as soon as the trip started and at times in real-time on Facebook, website, Twitter, etc.
  • In ’95, he took a couple of paper notebooks and two cameras; in 2011, he carried two laptops, seven mobiles, three GS units, three cameras, video camera, and more.
  • In ’95, migrants couldn’t believe seeing a Zero Hora reporter in person, even calling offices at Zero Hora to say Wagner must have gotten lost; in 2011, migrants interacted daily with Wagner and his team, in person, and on Facebook and Twitter, suggesting routes, setting up interviews, and making invitations to events.
  • In ’95, it took 60 days to find the right sources to interview, whereas in 2011 he was able to interview the same number of people in half the time.
  • In ’95, 60 percent of the information gathered on the trip was wasted, especially some of  small personal stories he discovered; in 2011, all of the content was published.
  • In the end, in 1995, there was a 28-page book and series of articles published; in 2011 the paper featured a 20-page series of articles in the paper, live blogs, a library of images and videos, radio interviews, a TV documentary, a dedicated app was released, events were created, competitions, autograph sessions and more.

“In essence, we reached millions of people all over the country with this story, were much more engaged with them, so naturally it had a much greater and broader impact,” says Rech. “The investment also in the reporting was much more worthwhile.”

For Rech, today’s tools make it easy for publishers to go beyond the article offering “broader impact, lower cost and better journalism.”


Dean Roper's picture

Dean Roper


2011-10-15 16:45

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The 71st World News Media Congress, the 26th World Editors Forum and the 3rd Women in News Summit took place from 1 - 3 June 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

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Participants were also very active on Twitter throughout the event under the hashtag #wnmc19.

In 2011 the newspaper world gathered in Vienna, Austria for IFRA Expo 2011, 63rd World Newspaper Congress and 18th World Editors Forum.

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