Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Brazil: Tapping the Power of Citizen Journalists to Increase Coverage of Poverty

Bruno Garcez is helping Brazil’s top media outlets to include multimedia reports from citizen journalists on important issues such as land reform and pollution prior to presidential and general elections in October.

Garcez is partnering with ABRAJI, the leading investigative journalism association, and the daily Folha de Sao Paulo to incorporate reports produced by trained citizen journalists. Already, 20 citizen reporters in Sao Paolo are producing stories and posting them on a common blog, Mural Brasil.

Garcez also led a public-service journalism course for professional and citizen journalists. The course was modeled after the one James Breiner developed at the Digital Journalism Center at the University of Guadalajara. AT&T gave a $20,000 grant for the course in Brazil. After taking the course, a reporter created a multimedia site that focuses on security in Jundiaí, a town in the state of Sao Paulo.

Garcez, a native of Brazil who worked for the BBC, also is writing the first manual on podcasting, online video and interactive mapping in Portuguese

Our Stories


  • Apr 152010


    We're now a few days away from the start of the The Digital Tools for Public Service Journalism course. Monday, the 19th of May, marks its beginning.

    A total of 42 applicants were selected to take part of these three weeks of online training.

    They have a diversified profile. Altogether, 18 of the selected candidates are professionals from the country's media outlets, either newspapers, magazines or websites.

    But we've also chosen a good number of citizen journalists and of reporters working for smaller news outlets: a total of 10.

  • Apr 82010

    Digital Tools For Public Service Journalism...Almost There

    We did it...but actually, not yet. It was very tiring, we had some very long days of work, consumed a good deal of coffee and didn't have that much of sleep in the last few weeks, but I hope it will have been worth it.

    We've nearly concluded the very last Unit of the AT&T sponsored course Digital Tools for Public Service Journalism. Right now, we are only going to correct whatever bits need to be changed and then we should be ready to roll.

    We have, so far, received 75 applications of candidates with a somewhat diversified profile.

    But, no, it is far from over.

  • Feb 252010

    News On the Public Service Journalism Course

    Now, it's a duo.

    The journalist Fabiano Angélico has joined our ranks to be the assistant trainer for the Digital Tools for Public Service Journalism course, sponsored by AT&T, and offered by the ICFJ with the support of our partner Abraji, here in Brazil, in the months of April (online part) and May (in-presence activities).

    Fabiano brings the best of both worlds.

  • Jan 192010

    The Chandler Bing Complex

    Those who've watched the TV show "Friends" might recall that the characters never knew exactly what was the job of one of their best mates, Chandler Bing.

    Well, for well over a month I knew how it was to be in Chandler Bing's shoes, although, on my behalf, I must add that what I am doing is far more exciting than working in a data processing job, like Chandler.

    First of all, there isn`t a title, as I had in the past: correspondent, producer, reporter, none of those fit the mould.

    I had, and still have, to come up with a tagline, which went something along these lines:

    " I`m recruit

  • Dec 292009

    Brazil: God and the Devil In the Land of the Sun

    The title is the name of a film by one of Brazil's leading film makers shot in the 60s and it somewhat summarizes the best and the worst of the country and these first days of my stay.

    It has now been a little bit over one month that arrived in São Paulo, Brazil, where I will kick-start the fellowship which aims to train citizen journalists to cover poverty related issues and to see that the news stories they develop reaches the country's mainstream media.

    On a personal level, at least I overcame some initial difficulties.

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