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A Study of Brazilian Intellectual-Journalists: Changes to Journalism (1950–1990)


ISBN: 978-1-78635-786-1, eISBN: 978-1-78635-785-4

Publication date: 30 May 2017


This chapter examines the professional identities of Brazilian journalists. It does so through an analysis of the growing professional autonomy of journalism from 1950 to 1990 through the life stories of 10 intellectual-journalists, individuals whose journalistic activities have crossed over into other intellectual fields.

This study applies a symbolic interactionist framework to understand how these actors managed their reputations and careers within the intellectual world. The narratives were taken from qualitative semi-structured interviews, and supported by additional research such as interviews, biographies, and articles which have been published about their lives.

The life stories were compared to the extensive structural changes affecting the world of journalism and the world of intellectuals in Brazil. This comparison revealed gaps between these two spheres of practice, within which the ambivalent form of journalists’ identities have been constructed.

This chapter offers two contributions to the study of Brazilian journalists. From a theoretical and methodological viewpoint, it advances beyond other studies that focus more on the prevailing representations of journalists’ professional identities and their role in society. From an empirical standpoint, it describes the complex negotiations between the worlds of journalism, culture and politics. This chapter also reexamines the current dominant explanation for the changes in Brazilian journalism. It shows that building careers and new levels of interpersonal cooperation for intellectuals and journalists has been a slow process. Ultimately, this development has left some behind, especially those actors stretched between multiple professional identities such as those who self-identify as intellectual-journalists.



Pereira, F.H. (2017), "A Study of Brazilian Intellectual-Journalists: Changes to Journalism (1950–1990)", Brazil (Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 13), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 187-212.



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