Who says the media don't care about the World Social Forum? While reporting might be negligible in most mainstream Western media, Porto Alegre's two major daily newspapers offered extensive coverage of the event. A quick survey of the city's two largest newspapers illustrates the point. Zero Hora, southern Brazil's largest metro daily, ran two cover stories on the summit. The main piece runs beneath a half-page photo of activists marching down the waterfront whilst carrying a gigantic beachball-like inflatable globe. The lead compares the march to a carnival parade: 'Like a gigantic samba school split into groups of different colours, nationalities and causes, the WSF's four-hour Peace March ran through Central Porto Alegre announcing the opening of the Fifth World Social Forum'. The cover also teases a story on Lula's 'risky' visit to the event, suggesting that a hostile reception from WSF attendees is not out of the question. In total, Zero Hora ran 17 WSF stories across 14 pages. By contrast, local editors ran no more than three stories on the World Economic Forum, in Davos, all of which were squeezed into one measly page. Correio do Povo, the city's other main paper, also gave the World Social Forum front-page coverage. The headline reads: 'Historic march opens WSF', and the story highlights the unprecedented turnout of 200,000 people. Correio do Povo ran a total of 16 WSF stories over five pages, whilst publishing only three pieces on the Davos event.
Local Media Play Up WSF
27 January 2005