Doing the rounds with police journalism in Brazil
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Police journalism is a big business here in Brazil. It’s fast paced, dangerous, often gruesome and sells. I am in Manaus, Brazil, working with the Amazonas Trade Union for journalists, and had the fortune of meeting Em Tempo’s police journalist, Andre Moreira. When offered the chance to go on a “roda” of the city in search of stories which fit under this, previously unknown to me, category, I enthusiastically, and retrospectively naively, accepted. One sentence to briefly explain what police journalism is for those who, like me, are unfamiliar with the section: it reports on crimes committed in the city which the police deal with; to be more specific, heinous crimes of which the perpetrators have already been caught and arrested. And so the shift began. Cramped into a Vauxhall Chevette with three other people we were off; first stop, the police station. The funny thing about police journalism is that the stories are tipped off by the police themselves, or ‘word of mouth’ which normally originates at the police level, or by a government representative. In a strange way, the stories reported are the equivalent of a dramatic, but real, horror book, and it gets lapped up by the newspaper reading public.
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