Tag Archives: Prensa económica

The Elective Affinity between Elite Journalists and Mainstream Economists in Brazil

[Nuevo artículo de Antonio Pedroso y Tomás Undurraga en Journalism Studies]

The Elective Affinity between Elite Journalists and Mainstream Economists in Brazil


This article explores the ties between elite economic journalists and mainstream economists in Brazil. It does so by investigating the influence of mainstream economists on journalists’ careers, and therewith, on Brazil’s public discussion. Using mixed methods, we study the main achievements that help to explain economic journalists’ position. We present a multiple correspondence analysis of 53 economic journalists, 30 who are in elite positions and 23 who are from the same cohort but are not in elite positions. Elaborating on 58 interviews, we explore the field’s professional dynamic, examining the sources that produce scoops, how journalists formed their economic perspectives and how economic sources link to the press. We find that there are two elites of economic journalists in Brazil with different career paths. Although careers among elite journalists might diverge, there is a manifest elective affinity between them and financial elites. Key economic journalists reached elite positions by sharing the doxa of mainstream economists. Journalists who worked in the Central Bank, economic ministers or private banks tended to rise in their professional careers. The familiarity with key financial agents of non-elite journalists, by contrast, is more limited. The article concludes by discussing the implications of this elective affinity for the public sphere in Brazil. Continue reading

Knowledge-production in journalism: Translation, mediation and authorship in Brazil

[Nuevo artículo de Tomás Undurrage en The Sociological Review]

“Knowledge-production in journalism: Translation, mediation and authorship in Brazil”

Tomás Undurraga


Based on a multi-site ethnography of two influential newspapers in Brazil, this article examines how Brazilian journalists mediate knowledge claims made by experts, policy makers and the lay public. It asks whether and how these journalists experience themselves as knowledge-makers. More specifically, it argues that Brazilian journalists index their production of knowledge in reference to four main characteristics: depth, authorship, influence, and expertise. Journalists tend to consider newsmaking a contribution to knowledge when: (1) they have the resources to do proper investigative reporting (depth); (2) they are able to help define the public agenda through their reporting and to express their opinion (authorship); (3) they have impact on the polity, the economy or other fields they cover (influence) and (4) their journalistic knowledge is recognized by readers and by specialists (expertise). In practice, however, there are multiple obstacles that make Brazilian journalists hesitant about their contribution to knowledge, including intensified working conditions, the lack of plurality within the mainstream presses, and their informal methods for dealing with knowledge claims from other fields. This research reveals that Brazilian journalists have different understandings of the nature of knowledge in journalism. These understandings cluster around two distinct poles: an expert notion of knowledge associated with disciplinary boundaries, and a distinct conception associated with journalists’ capacity to mediate between jurisdictions. When journalists’ production is assessed from the former point of view, the informality of their methods is seen as undermining their knowledge credentials. By contrast, when journalists’ contribution is assessed from the latter point of view, their ‘interactional expertise’ comes to the fore.

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Making news, making the economy: Technological changes and financial pressures in Brazil

Tomás Undurraga has just published the article ‘Making news, making the economy: Technological changes and financial pressures in Brazil’ in the journal Cultural Sociology. The article is open access so it can be downloaded from the journal’s page. The abstract reads as follow:

Media convergence and growing financial pressure on the journalistic field have triggered significant changes in newsmaking cultures across the world. This article examines the challenges of media convergence in the newsroom of Valor Econômico, the main economic newspaper in Brazil. In particular, it explores how the introduction in 2013 of Valor Pro, a real time news service oriented to the financial market, changed newsmaking practices at Valor Econômico. The introduction of Valor Pro meant that journalists from the whole newsroom had to report news simultaneously for three platforms: the real time service, the online website and the printed paper. This shift not only intensified journalists’ workloads and altered the manufacture of news, but also increased financial pressure on the paper’s agenda. I argue that this shift – from producing news for the public towards producing news for the market – cannot be explained solely with reference to traditional political economic factors such as ideological decisions at editorial level and the structural properties of the Brazilian media sphere. Instead, drawing on resources from cultural sociology and from science and technology studies, I provide a richer explanation that acknowledges the impact of technological innovation, the shifting nature of news values, and the agency of journalists themselves. This article elaborates on seven months of ethnographic fieldwork in Valor Econômico’s newsroom in São Paulo between 2013 and 2015 and contributes to the literature on cultural sociology, media studies and science and technology studies.

2 Post-doctoral research positions at UCL London: Economics in the Public Sphere

Research Associate: Economics in the Public Sphere – 2 Posts, – Ref:1458983. Salary (inclusive of London allowance) £33,353 -£40,313 per annum. Duties and Responsibilities. UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies seeks to appoint 2 Postdoctoral Research Associates as part of a European Research Council funded project, “Economics in the Public Sphere: USA, UK, France, Brazil and Argentina since 1945”. “Economics in the public sphere” examines the social and cultural factors shaping the media’s representation of economic knowledge. It sets out to study newsrooms as sites for the production of knowledge. From this vantage point we examine how journalists’ parse competing claims of expertise by scholars, political elites and social movements. We look at the formation of journalistic genres and interrogate how they frame representations of the economy, of value, and of economic reason. The postholders will contribute to the overall project objectives, and will undertake specialised research on the national economic press since 1945 for one national case study, to be assigned by the project director. The two case studies are United Kingdom and Argentina. The postholders will be expected to define a research agenda within the broad framework of the project’s central questions. The posts are available for 12 months in the first instance, with an expected start date of no later than 1st September 2015. Continue reading

Cfp_175 years of The Economist: International Conference (24 and 25 September 2015) DEADLINE: 15 May 2015

In 2018 the Economist magazine will be 175 years old. This conference is a prelude to a book that will examine the political, economic and cultural impact of one of the most significant news publications in the modern world. The workshop will take place at University College London over 2 days: 24-25 of September 2015. We seek to bring together journalists and researchers from many fields including economic, social and political historians, cultural analysts, sociologists, literary and media scholars. Papers are invited on any topic connected to The Economist, past and present, and the following suggested topics are intended to be neither prescriptive nor comprehensive: Continue reading

Valor Economico: the search for value in economic reporting in Brazil

Valor Economico is currently the leading economic journal in Brazil. Despite it’s being relatively new (it was created in 2000), it has quickly become the top venue for specialised economic discussion. Inspired by the Financial Times, Valor aims to produce pluralistic, well-informed, analytical reporting on the economy, and the social and political issues that surround business. As its title suggests, the journal claims to produce news that generates economic value. How to explain Valor’s rapid success? This post draws on three months of ethnographic observations in Valor Economico’s Sao Paulo newsroom and on thirty interviews with members of its staff. I’m grateful for the generous disposition of Valor’s editorial direction, and the many journalists who shared their working practices and perspectives with me. Without their openness, this research would not be possible. Continue reading