Rio de Janeiro, December 13, 2019 — Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcelo Crivella must allow reporters from all news outlets to cover his office’s press conferences, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
City officials today blocked journalists from G1, TV Globo, and GloboNews, all news outlets owned by Grupo Globo, from covering a joint press conference by the country’s health minister and the city’s mayor, according to a statement published by G1. The blockage followed Crivella’s announcement, posted to Twitter on December 1, that his office would no longer respond to interview requests or requests for information from Grupo Globo, one of Brazil’s biggest media companies, calling the group’s newspaper, O Globo, a “political pamphlet.”
“It is wildly inappropriate for an elected official to use a press conference on public health concerns to act out a petty vendetta against a major news organization,” said Natalie Southwick, CPJ’s Central and South America program coordinator, in New York. “Mayor Crivella must allow Grupo Globo journalists to do their jobs, which include covering municipal news and holding officials such as himself to account.”
According to the G1 statement, the mayor’s December 1 announcement was in retaliation for O Globo’s repeated requests for comment on a story about investigations into alleged corruption in the mayor’s office. Since then, Grupo Globo reporters have been blocked from at least two other mayoral press conferences, according to a report by the newspaper.
[Editor’s Note: This article has been changed in its second paragraph to correct the title of the minister with whom Mayor Crivella held his conference.]