Brazil: More than Just a Little Flu

Joathan, I., Medrado, A. and Medeiros, T. 2020. Brazil: More than Just a Little Flu. in: Lilleker, D., Coman, I., Gregor, M. and Novelli, E. (ed.) Political Communication and COVID-19: Governance and Rhetoric in Times of Crisis London and New York Routledge. pp. 220-230

Chapter titleBrazil: More than Just a Little Flu
AuthorsJoathan, I., Medrado, A. and Medeiros, T.
EditorsLilleker, D., Coman, I., Gregor, M. and Novelli, E.
Abstract

This chapter addresses issues of governance and rhetoric during the COVID-19 crisis in Brazil by analysing posts published by the Brazilian Government (Planalto) Facebook page (@palaciodoplanalto) and by the Favela do Alemão’s Crisis Committee (@gabinetealemao) in the first four months of the pandemic, from February 26 to June 25, 2020 (n=289). Brazil is one of the countries most affected by the pandemic with over 4 million people infected by the virus and approximately 130,000 deaths as of the time of writing. Despite such tragic numbers, President Jair Bolsonaro often trivialised the risks of COVID-19 and famously referred to it as just a “little flu”. As for our qualitative and quantitative content analyses, we coded the Facebook posts in relation to two main categories – frequency of communication and types of themes. Our results indicated that the government's page focused on the economic impacts of the pandemic and on accountability reports, discouraging social distance, and displaying conflictual attitudes and messages that attacked the media, state governors and even the Supreme Court. In contrast, Alemão’s Crisis Committee page presented guidelines on how to prevent being infected and offered aid and support to favela residents.

KeywordsCovid-19; political communication; social media; media activism; Brazilian Government
Book titlePolitical Communication and COVID-19: Governance and Rhetoric in Times of Crisis
Page range220-230
Year2020
PublisherRoutledge
Publication dates
Published19 Mar 2021
Place of publicationLondon and New York
ISBN9780367636791
File
File Access Level
Controlled (open metadata, closed files)
Web address (URL)https://www.routledge.com/Political-Communication-and-COVID-19-Governance-and-Rhetoric-in-Times-of/Lilleker-Coman-Gregor-Novelli/p/book/9780367636791

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