Editorial, by Stone Korshak
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – We published our first print edition in January 2011, and with the exception of a few lean August months we put them out like clockwork until September last year. Now we are back in print, and we are very excited to able to make it for the 2015 Carnival.
It could not have happened without our new managing partner, Lisa Flueckiger, who has been acting as editor and head of operations on the ground in Rio since January. Lisa started working with us years ago, and we were lucky to poach her back from a job she took last year.
Luckily she had all the experience needed, as well as her Swiss attention to detail and time-management skills, and of course the interest to take the reins. I plan to return to Brazil later this month, and together with our reporting team hope to continue The Rio Times in the great form it is now.
As usual there is so much news happening in Rio and Brazil it is hard to fit into a twenty-page printed edition. Our focus this month covers the new President Dilma Rousseff’s administration working to cut costs (and corruption) as the Brazilian economy continues to slide.
The drought is also important news affecting the energy services across the country, and a major scandal and poor financial performance sees state-controlled oil giant Petrobras oust their top guy (or gal). In other news the “official” inflation forecast now stands at 7.01 percent, while GDP growth is predicted to be at 0.38 percent in 2015.
Yet it is not all doom and gloom; Carnival is bringing tourism business and the keenly watched real estate market is cooling but not crashing. Infrastructure investments in Rio for the 2016 Olympics will continue to boost the local economy and after a relatively successful hosting of the 2014 World Cup, the Games area source of optimism.
But it’s Carnival, and most want to put these heady topics aside for good times and the annual pre-Lent blowout. If you are still new to the game, make sure to read page nine where we define how the parade competition works at the Sambódromo, and on page twelve we share details on how to get to the big show.
We also have a nice round-up of the Carnival “blocos” or street party-parades, which seem to take over the city for a few weeks each year. Of the 456 bloco licenses granted in 2015, down from 466 last year, Zona Sul (South Zone) will host just 141 as authorities continue to spread them around the city more evenly.
A last important note is that since mid-December, after reading more than three articles online per week, we are charging a small subscription fee of US$5 per month (or US$50 per year) for Premium Access. It has been going great so far and along with our advertising partners, helped us get back into print. So thank you all for your support.