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Lula VS. Larry Rohter: Misconceptions in international coverage

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Author(s): Heloiza Golbspan Herckovitz

Journal: Brazilian Journalism Research
ISSN 1808-4079

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 155;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Freedom of expression | Freedom of the press | Human Rights | Regulation | Content analysis.

ABSTRACT
This article discusses the confl ict between the New York Times foreign correspondent Larry Rohter and Brazil’s President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva over a story published by the American newspaper on May 9, 2004 accusing the President of being a drunkard. Larry Rohter’s piece was criticized for its lack of facts and of reliable sources, and for its ironic overtone. President Lula was criticized for cancelling the journalist’s visa, a measure later revoked because of public pressure. The case exemplifi es a well-know sequence of misconceptions and stereotypes from both sides (the world’s most prestigious newspaper and the president of the largest country in Latin America), which brings to light a much needed discussion on the quality of international news coverage, press freedom and social responsibility. This article also attempts to advance the discussion on how framing – second level agenda-setting —may infl uence how we think about foreign political leaders.

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