The Abril Pledge: “Information, Education, Culture and Entertainment with Excellence® and Impartiality®”

We are the media of the counter-coup. Of the democratic Constitution. Of democratic methods for amending a democratic constitution. Of freedom of expression. Of the right to complete information. Of truth that does not allow itself to be obscured by ideological fantasy. Of the triumph of fact over twaddle about the supposed redemption of the oppressed. Of a society of free men, not subordinate to [syndicates.] –Reinaldo Azevedo, Veja magazine. See also The Martyrdom of Mainardi: The Mountain and the Molehill

“Fair and Balanced” is a trademarked slogan used by American news broadcaster Fox News Channel. The slogan was originally used in conjunction with the phrase “Real Journalism.” Author and comedian Al Franken used the slogan in the subtitle for his 2003 book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. In the book, he accuses Fox News Channel of bias. On August 22, 2003, Fox sued based upon its trademark on the phrase. Fox News dropped the lawsuit three days later after Judge Denny Chin refused their request for an injunction.

I am skeptical in principle, gullible in practice. –Mason Cooley, American aphorist

Comunique-se (Brazil) reports: “Editora Abril Code of Conduct defends freedom of the press.”

See also

O vice-presidente de Recursos Humanos e Desenvolvimento Organizacional do Grupo Abril, Márcio Ogliara, disse que o Código de Conduta do conjunto de empresas preza pela liberdade de imprensa. “Estamos falando de produzir informação, educação, cultura e entretenimento com excelência e isenção”, afirmou o vice-presidente.

VP Human Resources and Organizational Development of the Grupo Abril, Márcio Ogliara, said the new code of conduct for Abril companies prizes freedom of the press. “We are talking about producing information, education, culture and entertainment with excellence and impartiality,” the VP said.

And what about Abril as “the culture-industrial complex of the countercoup”? See

Rio de Janeiro: Colonel Paúl on Veja and the “Counter-Coup”

Márcio Ogliara comentou exclusivamente ao Comunique-se o primeiro e recém-elaborado Código de Conduta da história do grupo na última sexta-feira (14/12). Na sexta anterior (07/12), os 6,5 mil funcionários de todas as empresas do grupo – Editora Abril, Abril Digital, Dinap, MTV, TVA e as Editoras Ática e Scipione – começaram a receber o conjunto de princípios e valores da Abril e tiveram de assinar um Termo de Compromisso por seu cumprimento, termo este que ficará anexado à documentação de cada trabalhador.

In an exclusive interview, Ogliara commented to Comunique-se on the group’s first-ever Code of Conduct last Friday (December 14). On December 12 the 6,500 employees of all the group’s companies — Editora Abril, Abril Digital, Dinap, MTV Brasil, TVA and the Ática and Scipione imprints — began to receive the compilation of principles and values of Abril, and had to sign a form commitment to comply, which will be attached to the employee records of each worker.

On DINAP, the print distribution arm of the group, see

I thought I read that “contributors” — freelancers na informalidade — had to sign, too.

O Código não é apenas para jornalistas. Discutido há mais de três anos, segundo Ogliara, por profissionais das áreas de Assinaturas, Auditoria, Editorial, Finanças, Gráfica, Jurídico, Marketing, Publicidade, Relações Corporativas e RH do Grupo, o documento trata dos princípios da Abril, comuns a todos os funcionários, como o respeito às leis e o repúdio ao preconceito dentro das empresas e nas matérias produzidas.

The Code is not just for journalists. Debated for more than three years, according to Ogliara, by professionals in the areas of subscriptions, audit, editorial, finance, graphics, legal, marketing, publicity, corporate relations and human resources, the document sets forth the principles of the Abril group, common to all employees, such as respect for the law and rejection of prejudice, both in the work environment and in the work produced.

And what are those principles? I would really like to read this document. Is the precise tenor of Abril’s commitment to democratic accountability a trade secret, like the secret sauce recipe of some burger franchise?

Quanto às reportagens, afirmou Ogliara: “Falamos de princípios como o reconhecimento de nossa responsabilidade perante à sociedade brasileira, pela publicação de informações corretas, isentas e produzidas de boa-fé.”

As to its news reporting, Ogliara said: “We are talking about principles such as acknowleding our social responsibility to publish accurate, impartial information, produced in good faith.”

A nice sign of good faith in practice as well as principle might be firing the entire editorial management of Veja and bringing in an editorial team with credibility on this point.

Veja is a damned nice-looking magazine with a great market, a brand history with many points of pride to point to, and a deep talent pool.

If the great minds of Brazilian marketing cannot pull off a “Veja returns to its proud roots!” campaign to sell the transition, and boost circulation in the bargain, they are not worth their salt. Renegotiate their contracts on a “pay for performance” basis immediately.

As 20 páginas do documento ainda falam sobre jabás. Os funcionários estão proibidos de usar o nome da empresa para obter privilégios e devem recusar presentes cujos valores ultrapassem R$ 100.

The 20 pages of the document also talk about payola. Employees are prohibited from using the name of the company to obtain privileges and must refuse presents valued at more than R$100 [$55-$60].

You can only accept one four-star lunch per pay.

On the terms jabá and jabaculê, see

Fiscalização

Oversight

O Grupo Abril criou um Comitê de Conduta para investigar denúncias de descumprimento na regulamentação. O autor, no entanto, precisará ser identificado. Os funcionários contarão com um email e um serviço 0800 para apresentar supostas infrações.

The group created a Conduct Committee to investigate charges of noncompliance. The complainant however, will have to identify him or herself. Employees will have an e-mail address and a toll-free number through which to report supposed infractions.

And readers?

Prompt attention to consumer complaints has been proposed by the media democracy crowd as a measure short of setting up something like the U.K. Press Complaints Office, but even that has been shrieked about as a form of Stalinism.

Everything is Stalinism with these people. The traffic cops change the street-sweeping schedule and Roberto Civita’s feng shui consultant gets a ticket. Stalinism! The foreign ministry assigns respectable works of (non-Maoist) academic history to candidates for promotion. Stalinism! The price of coffee goes up in the lunchroom. Stalinism!

Your freelancer wants to know why she has not been paid in three months. She is a Stalinist!

I am still looking for a serious local commentary on this press release, which seems to have been exclusively aired in friendly venues.


The words are those of Reinaldo Azevedo, new media evangelist and exemplary Net libertarian.

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