Editora Abril: Self-Regulating The Lords of Misrule?


The Editora Abril: A media monopoly dedicated to the art of the gabbling ratfink. “The Authoritarian Temptation: The PT’s attempts to monitor and control the press, television and culture.” Translation: “Dilma could decide those zero-down spectrum concessions we got were the fruit of a skeevy plundering of the commonwealth! Bork her with all you’ve got!

Preserve the integrity of our posts by refraining from using our function, or information about our activities, to influence decisions that might tend to favor private interests or the interests of third parties.

“They think that Abril supports Cardoso’s plan of government. They have it wrong. It is not Abril who supports Cardoso. It is Cardoso who supports Abril’s plan of government.” –attributed to Roberto Civita, Grupo Abril

The Brazilian journalist does not feel free to write. More than just having to follow the editorial line of the publications they work for, the complaints principally have to do with coercion by political or business groups. –“A Profile of the Brazilian Journalist”

Portal IMPRENSA (Brazil) reports: Editora Abril distribui “Código de Conduta” aos funcionários.

The Editora Abril distributes a corporate code of conduct to its employees.

The Editora Abril was involved in a remarkable episode this year in which the anonymous source of an “exposé” published in Veja magazine about the President of the Brazilian Senate could not have been other than the palimony attorney for the senator’s girlfriend on the side — a TV Globo talking head with her own political marketing firm.

The following evening, as Professor Dines pointed out, the same gentleman appeared on Globo’s Jornal Nacional, making the same arguments and factual claims.

The same attorney then also reportedly negotiated his client’s “bares all” appearance in Abril’s Playboy Brazil.

Which was just a jaw-dropping, mind-bending case of sleazy “innovation synergies” on the face of it, I tend to think. See

I show this story to Neuza, who has some personal and professional experience with the publishing house, and once she stops laughing derisively — it takes a while, and I have to hand her a tissue — she comments, “Wow, you think maybe they’re fixing to fire all the Mainardi types?”

Maybe. On the other hand, Abril also announces it is thinking about issuing an editorial manual — “in the future.”

Hoje só amanhã.

Or as Mexicans say, laconically: mañana.

Nesta sexta-feira (07/12), a Editora Abril começa a distribuir a seus funcionários seu “Código de Conduta”. O documento busca explicitar e documentar a linha e a forma de atuação da Editora, além da maneira como a empresa espera que seus funcionários ajam em determinadas situações, como em casos de conflitos de interesses e assédio moral, por exemplo.

On Friday, December 7, the Editora Abril began distributing its “Code of Conduct” to employees. the document seeks to make explicit, and document, the company’s lines and ways of operating, as well as the way it expects employees to conduct themselves in given circumstances, such as in cases of conflicts of interest and harassment, for example.

Conflicts of interest, just for an example.

A discussão sobre a criação de um manual começou há mais de quatro anos e contou com a participação de diversos grupos de trabalho. No entanto, somente no ano passado é que o texto passou a ser moldado nos termos em que chega às mãos de funcionários e colaboradores. A idéia de batizar o documento de “Código de Conduta” foi usada porque o termo “conduta” é mais amplo e concreto do que “ética”.

The debate over the creation of a manual began some four years ago and involved various working groups. However, only in the last year was the text framed in the terms which employees are now receiving. The idea of calling the document a “Code of Conduct” was used because the term “conduct” is broader and more concrete than the term “ethics.”

They crafted that innovative language themselves, did they?

O “Código” conta com 19 páginas, divididas em “Missão, Valores e Princípios”; Pressupostos; “Objetivos do Código de Conduta”; “Quem deve seguir o Código de Conduta”; “A relação no ambiente de trabalho”; “A responsabilidade de liderança”; “A responsabilidade nas colaborações fora da empresa”; “A relação com os acionistas”; “A relação com os clientes”; “A relação com: parceiros de negócios”; “Os fornecedores”; “A imprensa”; “Os sindicatos e as entidades de classe”; “A esfera pública — engajamento político-partidário”; “O posicionamento em relação à corrupção e à propina”; “Os conflitos de interesses”; “A violação ao Código de Conduta”; O Comitê de Conduta”; “Responsabilidades” e “Termo de Compromisso”.

The Code has 19 pages, divided into “Mission, Values, and Principles”; Assumptions; “Objectives of the Code of Conduct”; “Who Must Follow the Code of Conduct”; “Workplace Relations”; “Responsibility of Leadership”; “Responsibilities in Collaborations Outside the Company”; “Relations With Shareholders”; “Relations With Clients”; “Relations With Business Partners”; “Suppliers”; “The Press”; “Unions and Professional Associations”; “The Public Sphere: Political-Partisan Engagement”; “Position on Corruption and Bribery”; “Conflicts of Interests”; “Violation of the Code of Conduct”; “The Professional Conduct Committee”; “Resonsibilities”; and “Agreement to Comply [With The Code of Conduct].”

Todos os funcionários, colaboradores, acionistas e conselheiros devem seguir o “Código”. Futuramente, a idéia é de que seja divulgado um manual que orienta os profissionais de redação em suas questões específicas. No entanto, ao receberem o documento, todos os funcionários deverão assinar um “Termo de Compromisso”, que garante estarem cientes das especificações. O Termo, assinado, será anexado à ficha do funcionário no Departamento de Recursos Humanos.

All employees, contributors, shareholders and counsel must follow the Code. In the future, the idea is that a manual will be published to guide newsroom professionals on specific issues. In the meantime, upon receiving the Code, all employees must sign an agreement promising to comply, which will be attached to their file in human resources.

Conheça, a seguir, algumas das orientações da Abril a seus funcionários e colaboradores:

Some of Abril’s instructions to employees and contributors [that is, its starving Mameluke armies of “meet the deadline or else, and we will pay you when we pay you” freelancers]:

Colaborações fora da empresa

Working outside Abril

– Obter autorização das chefias para colaborar em outros veículos de comunicação, proferir palestras e participar de eventos (como debates, seminários e cursos) na condição de funcionário da Abril e seguir, nessas situações, sempre os mesmos parâmetros deste Código de Conduta.

“Obtain authorization from managers before contributing to other news media, giving lectures, or participating in events (such as debates, seminars and courses) in your capacity as an Abril employee, and comply at all times, on such occasions, with the parameters of this Code of Conduct.

Sobre as relações com a imprensa

On press relations

No atendimento a outros veículos de comunicação, devemos:

In answering questions from other news media, we must:

– Manter um relacionamento baseado na integridade, na transparência e na isenção;

Maintain a relationship based on integrity, transparency, and impartiality;

– Manter uma atitude independente e respeitosa no relacionamento com a mídia;

Maintain an independent and respectful attitude in our relationship with the media;

See

The Veja columnist accused Veja founding editor Mina Carta of being subsdized by government advertising as a bribe for supporting government policies in his current newsweekly. It emerged in the case that Veja received even higher numbers of government ads in some of its editions.

– Pronunciar-nos apenas sobre assuntos de nossa competência e não falar sobre os que a empresa tenha definido como confidenciais.

Pronounce only subjects on which are are competent to pronounce on, and not speak of subjects which the Company has defined as confidential.

Leak and you are fired.

See, for example:

Sobre os conflitos de interesses

On conflicts of interest.

É fundamental evitar situações, ações e atitudes que possam caracterizar ou sugerir conflito entre os nossos interesses pessoais e o nosso desempenho profissional. Por isso, devemos:

It it fundamental to avoid situations, actions and attitudes that might characterize or suggest a conflict between our personal interests and our professional performance. For that reason, we must:

– Não usar a função exercida na Abril para obter privilégios, preservando o cargo ou atividade exercidos, sem nunca usá-los em benefício próprio;

Not use our position with Abril to obtain privileges, preserving the post or function we exercise without every using it for personal advantage;

– Evitar que cônjuges e namorados estejam em nossa esfera de atuação ou de influência ou em posições que possam comprometer nossa relação hierárquica;

Avoid having spouses or significant others in our area of professional activity or influence or in positions that might compromises our hierarchical relationships;

– Recusar favores e presentes oferecidos por clientes, fornecedores e parceiros de negócios, a não ser brindes sem valor comercial expressivo ou com valor inferior a R$ 100,00;

Refuse favors and presents offered by clients, suppliers, and business partners, except for gifts without significant commercial value or worth less than R$100;

That is some 26% of a minimum monthly salary here. A week’s survival wages for a ditchdigger with a wife and two kids, let’s say.

If you take $900 as a rough U.S. equivalent (based on $5.50 an hour, 8 hour days, and 50 weeks a year), this would be like being able to accept gifts worth up to $234.

You could accept a gift of the $100 laptop ($185) and a hearty lunch at a reasonably priced but fairly nice rodizio mineiro or that lovely all-you-can-eat sushi near the Astor, you know the place. With imported beer. From each client, supplier and business partner.

I think the most swanky tchotchke I ever got was a bunch of press releases from a tech company that came on a USB pen drive. They reassured us it was worth only about $10. I still have it. Comes in a little leather case. Nifty.

– Não aceitar descontos em compras particulares de bens e serviços em razão da nossa atividade profissional, a não ser promoções corporativas firmadas com a empresa.

Not accepting discounts on private purchases of goods and services on account of our professional activities, except for corporation promotions the Company contracts for;

I used to have a pretty decent gym discount with my last employer. Too busy to ever use it, though, but I did soak my head in the sauna a lot. I needed to.

Sobre a relação no ambiente de trabalho

The Workplace Environment

“Nosso convívio deve ser baseado no respeito, na transparência e no espírito de equipe. Portanto, é nosso compromisso: Trabalhar para que, na busca de resultados, predomine o espírito de colaboração com os colegas e com as outras áreas da empresa;

Our working relationships must be based on respect, transparency and the team spirit. For that reason, we commit ourself to: Work so that in the search for results, the spirit of collaboration with colleagues and other areas of the Company prevails.

– Manter uma atitude de respeito, cortesia e cooperação com todos os colegas, clientes, fornecedores e parceiros de negócios. Reconhecer a diversidade, respeitando as diferenças e os valores individuais sem discriminar cor, raça, nacionalidade, idade, orientação sexual e posicionamento político;

Maintain an attitude of respect, courtesy and cooperation with all colleagues, clients, suppliers, and business partners. Recognize diversity, respecting individual differences and values without discriminating on the basis of color, race, nationality, age, sexual orientation, or political beliefs;

Unless they work for our competitors.

I will have to translate for you a report I was reading on Diogo Mainardi’s latest libel trial, in this case based on a criminal complaint by the omnipresent, mobile, agile and hostile Paulo Henrique Amorim — who seems to have designated himself as sort of an anti-Mainardi.

Painfully embarrassing for everyone involved, but fascinating, in a WWF cage-match sort of way.

– Combater qualquer tipo de intimidação que caracterize assédio sexual ou assédio moral (este último entendido como o ato de desqualificar pessoas e/ou a reputação delas por meio de palavras, gestos ou atitudes em função do vínculo hierárquico);

Combat any type of intimidation that constitutes sexual or any other type of harrassment (defined as the act of demeaning persons and/or their reputation by means of words, gestures, our attitudes, as a function of the hierarchical relationship;

– Preservar a integridade do cargo, sem usar nossa função ou informações sobre nossas atividades para influenciar decisões que venham a favorecer interesses particulares ou de terceiros.

Preserve the integrity of our post, without using our function or information about our activities to influence decisions that might tend to favor private interests or the interests of third parties.

The section I want to read is the one about corruption and bribery.

The section on relations with unions and professional associations ought to be interesting as well, given that Veja and like-minded publications tend to depict labor and social movements as vermin to be exterminated by AUC firing squads before they install “the dictatorship of the trade unions.”

Somebody leak me this sucker.

Unless, of course, it is classified as confidential and doing so could get you fired. (Nobody can afford to be unemployed in this town. I understand that.)

Which would, of course, reflect a rather peculiar attitude toward transparency.

“We have set rigorous rules for ourselves, but you cannot know what they are in order to hold us accountable to to them.”

Kremlinological speculation: Massive, exhibitionist shows of efficiency, and heartfelt expressions of a noble determination to self-regulate according to world-class governance best practices, of this kind often indicate the cold-blooded assessment that a company runs a genuine risk of actually getting slapped silly, in a way that actually hurts, for the kind of bullshit it has been getting away with for so long.

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