The main points of the debate were the legislation in force in Brazil and abroad; the new technologies; and suggestions for a new legislation in Brazil.

Ethevaldo Siqueira thought it was a must that future rules for channel concession be discussed by the Constituent Assembly. Luís Fernando Ensinas spoke for the maintenance of current concession laws, a position met with harsh criticism by Fernando Morais, who championed a broader debate for a communications policy in the country. Cândido Mendes spoke of the importance of the regionalization of programming via the creation of UHF Channels, which would provide more room to producers who could not find a space to air their productions at the time.

Mediation |

Critical text Gabriel Priolli

The debate about the democratization of access and ownership of broadcast media in the country – and the ensuing legal reform – has become more dynamic in the 80s, ceasing to be strictly of interest to technicians and specialists. The emergence of free radios and the videocassette boom, opening up myriad new vistas for new generations of producers, have propelled a movement for the revision of criteria for radio and TV channel concessions, and are sure to stir great controversy in the upcoming Constituent Assembly.

After an initial doctrinary phase in which a heavy veil of official silence had to be lifted so that debate, the centerpiece of democracy, could begin on an issue that has always been deemed secondary by political parties and social institutions, and now the time for action has come. Now is the time to formulate coherent, concrete proposals for the Constituent Assembly, and to work to involve as many candidates for the November elections to champion these proposals.

Changing the Brazilian broadcasting scene will surely be a hard task, considering the privileges of a situation where the President of the Republic, his minister of Communications and federal congressmen themselves have interests in this sector. However, even though the struggle will be hard, at least we can be certain that the ranks of those who want change are growing everyday and their will is strong. Because a country of 120 million people, the world’s eighth economy, on the verge of a new century – or of a new age, the Telematics age – can no longer settle for little over 100 TV channels 1200 radio stations.

The challenges the future holds require more cameras and microphones, revealing and discussing Brazil with the Brazilians.