Jair Bolsonaro’s Populist Communication on Brazilian Television: An Analysis of Television Newscasts on Globo and Record During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Bruno Araújo, Liziane Guazina


News media continue to play a central role in promoting public debate and the visibility of populist messages. This study discusses how Brazilian television journalism reacted to the populism of Jair Bolsonaro during the COVID-19 crisis. We adopted a content analysis and a framing analysis to identify the main themes and frames in reports at the beginning of the crisis by the country’s 2main television news programs. The corpus consists of 26 editions of Jornal Nacional (JN) and 26 editions of Jornal da Record (JR). Our hypothesis is that these news programs had significantly different interpretations of the Bolsonaro government’s actions. The data show that JN voiced its opposition to the president, while JR assumed the role of the government’s official voice, creating mechanisms to normalize populism. These results have important implications for understanding how the political positions adopted by traditional media affect how populism is promoted in the public sphere.


populism, pandemic, Jair Bolsonaro, TV Newscasts, framing

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