Veja x Nassif: The Oinegue Incident


Click to zoom. The Grupo Abril’s Veja magazine covers the iPhone, January 2007: “It’s like magic!” Photocredit: Fotoagência NMM(-TV)SNB(B)CNN(P)BS-Tabajara. That is to say, I snapped it at the local padaria myself. When the iPhone launched, “it’s like magic” seemed to be something of an official marketing slogan. Steve Jobs could be heard referring to it as “this magic device” over and over and over again. I guess great minds think alike.

Veja fired its economics editor, Eliana Simonetti, in November 2001 because of her “improper relationship” with a lobbyist. The journalist admitted she had received a “loan” of R$40,000 from Alexandre Paes dos Santos. At the time, the journalist made a statement that placed the entire profession under suspicion: “Every journalist has their lobbyist.” Veja published the case of the lobbyist, who made “loans” to civil servants, but failed to mention that its own editor was on the list of persons bribed by Santos. Its editor in chief was Eduardo Oinegue.

Bribery of the news media in too many countries robs citizens of credible information they need to make personal and collective decisions. This comprehensive research for the first time gives us an index that ranks 66 of the world’s nations for the likelihood that print journalists will seek or accept cash for news coverage from government officials, businesses, or other news sources. Institute for Public Relations, 2003

I have been reading Nassif’s series on Veja magazine and wondering about a couple of incidents he alludes to, without naming names: (1) the dismissal of a Veja editor who was allegedly getting fed stories by a prominent lobbyist, and (2) the dismissal of the top editor at Exame, Editora Abril’s flagship weekly business title.

See also

Some anonymous blogger known as Scorpii described these (alleged, until I can chase them down) incidents in more detail, with names and (sumptuous) dollar figures, in March 2005. Let me clip them and then research them later.

Nas redações da Editora Abril correm comentários de que Eduardo Oinegue foi demitido sumariamente da direção de redação da Exame porque ele ia receber parte da comissão da publicidade de uma edição especial da revista sobre a infra-estrutura do Brasil. Numa associação com um lobista de empresas, o jornalista receberia mais de R$ 1 milhão. Sem citar nomes, a informação saiu na coluna Giba Um.

Much comment is being heard from the newsrooms of the Editora Abril to the effect that Eduardo Oinegue was summarily fired from his post as editor in chief of Exame because he was to receive part of the commission on advertising in a special number of the magazine about infrastructure in Brazil. In partnership with a corporate lobbyist, the journalist was to receive R$1 million. Without citing names, the information was published in the Giba Um [Web] column.

Oinegue se mantém em silêncio, e não se sabe, portanto, qual seria a versão dele.

Oinegue is not commenting, so his side of the story is not known.

Oinegue is now president of Análise Editorial.

De qualquer forma, parece-me estranho que um jornalista que tenha trabalhado na Abril por 20 anos, tendo feito ali toda a sua carreira, seja demitido às pressas, deixando vaga a importante cadeira de diretor de redação. Normalmente, nessa diretoria, só sai alguém quando já há um substituto escolhido.

In any event, it seems strange to me that a journalist who worked for Abril for 20 years — his entire career — would be hastily fired, leaving a significant gap at the head of the magazine. Normally, people only leave when their successor has been chosen.

Se realmente Oinegue ia receber parte da comissão de publicidade de edição especial, a própria revista deveria tornar público o fato, dando espaço, inclusive, para a defesa do jornalista.

If Oinegue was really going to get a share of the ad commissions on the special edition, the magazine itself ought to report that fact, incljuding giving the journalist space to defend himself.

Existem juízes, médicos, policiais, funcionários públicos etc desonestos e, quando descobertos, a imprensa noticia. O próprio Oinegue escreveu na Veja matérias sobre irregularidades como as do juiz Lalau que desviou para os bolsos dele milhões de reais.

There are dishonest judges, policemen, doctors, public servants, and so on, and when they are discovered, the press reports it. Oinegue himself wrote in Veja about how Judge Lalau skimmed millions into his own pocket.

The infamous case of the construction of a new seat for the state labor tribunal here in São Paulo.

Mas nada sai na imprensa sobre jornalistas desonestos. Por quê? Não informar os leitores que eles estavam sendo enganados é enganá-los duas vezes.

But nothing comes out in the papers about dishonest journalists. Why not? Not informing readers that they were being deceived is to deceive them all over again.

Well said.

Se de fato Oinegue estava envolvido em um esquema sujo, eu, como leitor, gostaria de saber que tipo de “serviço” o jornalista prestava ao lobista. Ele estava direcionando a pauta para beneficiar determinadas empresas? Se sim, quais são essas empresas? Esse esquema já interferiu em outras edições da Exame, considerando que Oinegue estava na direção da redação há um ano e até tinha empresa para emitir nota fiscal? Se houve interferência, quais as matérias envolvidas? E qual foi o relacionamento de Oinegue com o referido lobista quando foi redator-chefe da Veja? E por aí vai.

If Oinegue was in fact involved in a dirty scheme, I, as a reader, would like to know what kind of “services” the journalist rendered to the lobbyist. Was he manipulating the news agenda to favor certain firms? If so, which firms? Has this scheme affected other editions of Exame, given that Oinegue was top editor for a year and even had his own firm to bill his services to? If there was outside interference, what articles were involved? What was Oinegue’s relationship with the lobbyist in question when he headed Veja? And so on.

Me, too.

Quando o NYT descobriu que Jayson Blair inventava e copiava matérias de outras publicações, o jornal demitiu sumariamente o repórter e checou as informações das matérias por ele escritas, apresentando todo esse levantamento aos leitores. Aparentemente, não escondeu nada e preserveu, assim, a sua credibilidade.

When the New York Times discovered that Jayson Blair was fabricating and plagiarizing, Blair was summarily fired and his articles were fact-checked, with the results presented to its readers. It hid nothing, apparently, and thus preserved its credibility.

Blair’s sins were relatively minor. I tend to think that the early retirement of Judy “Hero of the First Amendment” “You Are Only As Good as Your Sources” Miller is the more significant case in point.

Se de fato o caso for de falcatrua, espera-se que a Editora Abril tenha um pouco da dignidade e da coragem que o NYT teve.

If this case really is one of fraud, you would expect the Editora Abril to show a little of the dignity and courage the Times did.

No, you wouldn’t. This is not something I would expect of Abril, based on my experience with their products. Which is I refuse to give them my money.

A Veja demitiu em novembro de 2001 Eliana Simonetti, editora de Economia, por ela manter “relacionamento impróprio” com um lobista. A jornalista admitiu que tinha recebido um “empréstimo” de R$ 40 mil de Alexandre Paes dos Santos. Na época, a jornalista fez uma afirmação que coloca toda a categoria sob suspeita: ”Todo jornalista tem seu lobista.” Veja publicou o caso do lobista, que fazia “empréstimos” a funcionários públicos, mas omitiu a informação de que a sua editora também estava na lista de propinas de Santos. O redator-chefe da revista na época era Eduardo Oinegue. A demissão de Simonetti foi noticiada pelo JB, conforme pode ser lido neste linque.

Veja fired its economics editor, Eliana Simonetti, in November 2001 because of her “improper relationship” with a lobbyist. The journalist admitted she had received a “loan” of R$40,000 from Alexandre Paes dos Santos. At the time, the journalist made a statement that placed the entire profession under suspicion: “Every journalist has their lobbyist.” Veja published the case of the lobbyist, who made “loans” to civil servants, but failed to mention that its own editor was on the list of persons bribed by Santos. Its editor in chief was Eduardo Oinegue. Simonetti’s firing was reported by the Jornal do Brasil, as you can read at this link.

I will try to translate that for you when I get time. I am trying to build a decently complete and reasonably balanced little “dossier” on the Curious Case of Ecce Veja, pra inglês ver.

Caveat: I am just some blogger doing this in his spare time. Hire a professional if you want the job done thoroughly.

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