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Editorial, by Stone Korshak

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – After the image as a place to do business has collapsed like a house of cards, and the post-Olympic tourism ball has been dropped due to inflated costs and high crime, it is hard to find people who care about Brazil one way or another.

Stone Korshak, Editor and Publisher of The Rio Times.
Stone Korshak, Editor and Publisher of The Rio Times.

It sounds harsh, but the reality is the pool of people concerned with Brazil has gotten a lot smaller. The economic crisis, the political shenanigans, and the increase in crime has brought foreign interest in the South American giant to,… what it was 15-20 years ago.

From a news standpoint, the crime and corruption is still sensational, even the CBS weekly news program 60 Minutes did a piece on Lava Jato (Car Wash). The Olympics are long over though, and so the inherent focus of the masses has moved on, like memories of glory days.

As a local, foreign-community news publisher, this is of course a concern, as we’re faced to ask ourselves, who cares about Brazil now?

The answer lies in the core of our audience, those expatriates that live here in Rio and Brazil. The characters that are staying through thick and thin, with samba in their veins and the promise of tomorrow’s Brazil in our hearts.

I maintain that 95 percent of the people who have left Brazil in the last few years all long to return. To be able to stay here is a privilege, we are the lucky ones. Nowhere combines culture and natural beauty like the Cidade Maravilhosa.

So our news reporting will focus more on those that are here, and more on the community of foreigners, from long-term expats, to multinationals and diplomatic corps on 2-3 year rotations, as well as the six-month adventurer and the ten-day tourist.

We’ll pay special attention to those foreigners making things happen here, in business, in the arts, and especially social projects. As a community we need to support each other and celebrate the efforts made.

At the same time, we’ll ask more of our audience to help us on our mission. Online advertising revenue is down industry-wide, so we’ll put more focus on our Premium Access services, and hope our regular readers see the value exchange.

One way or the other, we’re committed to reporting on what is happening here in Brazil. We care about the Brazilians, we care about the future of this country, and we care especially about the foreigners that call Brazil home.

Ipanema beach, Rio de Janeiro, brazil, Brazil News
Even in the ‘winter’ months, Rio de Janeiro is a magical place, photo by Alexandre Macieira/Riotur.
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4 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you-this helped so much with my homework on news reporting to foreigners in Newly Emerging Economy Countries!

  2. Hi Stone, as one of those “foreigners that call Brazil home” (47 years and counting), I can concur with your basic premise of current woes, but would like to point out that Brazil has been a boom-and-bust country since Colonial times, and this too shall pass — even in the newspapering business, be it print or digital. Hang in there.

  3. As an American anthropologist living in Brasil for the past ten years, studying, probing, and penetrating to the deeper, innermost layers of this society’s culture, I must say that this article seems more like a pep talk for expatriates than a realistic assessment of the current or possible future conditions of this country.

    Was it not this journal that published the article “The Rot at the Heart of the Brazilian Economy?”

    And I quote:

    ‘When Brazil transitioned to democracy in 1985, its new constitution committed the state to an agenda of national economic development. It included a laundry list of rights, including citizens’ rights to education, health care, work, a retirement pension, and free assistance for children six and under, among others. And if these guarantees weren’t met, citizens could petition the government. This deeply ingrained spirit — a state-centric economy bolstered by expansive social rights — played out in a highly fragmented political system. The result: Within Brazil’s array of largely left-of-center political parties, there are a number of regional, local, and patronage networks that make coalition-building on controversial issues a complex, often corrupt process.’

    So, what happened to this “constitutional” agenda?

    Or:

    ‘The first step to fixing Brazil’s crisis will have to involve recognizing that the rot goes much deeper than it might seem. Brazil’s troubles began with the downturn in the global commodity markets, which once bolstered the country. But the roots of the malaise trace much farther, to a historically autarkic (I think you mean autocratic) economic model, a political system hobbled and corrupted by party factionalism and localism, and a constitutional carnaval of guarantees for social rights and payouts.’

    So, let us not fool ourselves into thinking the current events are just passe and will somehow correct themselves with time. On the contrary, it is going to take a “Gordian Knot” type effort to resolve the deep-seated social, economic and political problems of this country. The Petrobras scandal was just the unveiling of something hidden under the rug and festering for over a century and it still has not been resolved. In fact, the slogan “progress and order” is quickly becoming “digression” and “confusion.” Please do not over simplify something that is ruining the lives of everyday Brasilian people.

  4. I never was or lived in Rio or Brazil, but the diminishing interest is familiar to Bulgaria. The Balkan country was “hot” in the 1990’s and 2000’s and I spent there soms wonderful years. In 2011 I esrablished Levski Expres (after a Bulgarian revolutionary) to write about World events from Levsku’s point of view. We should work together. Best regards, Jan Buruma, editor in chief

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