Thursday, January 19, 2012

Five Facts For Foreigners - Vol. VI

Here’s something to help you out as you try to keep up with what’s going on in the world during your stay. Newscasts have a slightly different take on the presentation, so here’s the 411 on the nature of daily news in Brazil.
  1. Unlike American news broadcasts, it is not unusual to see footage of an accident that resulted in the death of someone (…or to see a body – though the face usually isn’t shown. A cop might strategically stand in front of the face, while the rest of the body is visible). All of the blood trails & smears filmed in HD are visible, however.

    Accidents caught on camera are played and replayed - no matter how graphic. This video shows how a pedestrian narrowly missed being hit with 2 cars... however, no one got killed.

    Even hostage situations involving police negotiators & snipers [taking out the bad guy] are shown on the news, as you can see in the video below. For proper dramatic effects, they are usually looped about 5 times in a row.
  2. Warning! Graphic content! Police sniper kills criminal holding hostage.

  3. The line-up of shame is something that is a little different than what we've seen on American newscasts. We usually only get a glimpse of a suspect in transfer, leaving a courthouse or entering the police station.

    Crooks that are caught in Brazil are lined up & photographed with any cache of drugs, weapons or other illegal paraphernalia that was seized when they were arrested. Sometimes the perpetrators try to hide their face with their shirts pulled up over their head, which never fails to remind me of a certain pair of delinquents.

    Image found on Google Images.

    Another tactic that some news crews use, is to drive alongside whichever patrol vehicle has the villains [always stuffed in the hatchback portion of the car] and film them in transit; which almost amounts to a high speed chase, as the cops drive very fast when they have a criminal in the car. It's interesting to watch.

  4. People cry a lot in interviews – men and women alike. The more anguish and heart-rending devastation is shown, the more airtime that story will get. This can be quite disconcerting if you are unaccustomed to real-life despair, twice a day.

    Warning! Graphic & Disturbing Content! Mother arrives on scene after her son is killed in a shooting.

  5. Everyone gets a title. If you want to give an interview on the evening news as a random person on the street, your street cred is required. If you are someone that doesn't work, you’ll be listed as such – "Dono" or "Dona de Casa" ("man or woman of the house"). Titles are everything here.

    Did I forget to mention that this is also a part of the 20 Questions played in Doctors’ offices (always repeated loudly, so that everyone knows exactly where you stand… in general)?

  6. I’m not sure if male meteorologists exist in the world of Brazilian newscasts... Perhaps because they can’t quite keep the attention of their audience as well as their female counterparts? It begs further study.

Coming soon in the 5 Facts For Foreigners series...
  • The Look: Hotels, Houses and Apartments

  • Seen Out & About: Unique Looks & Trends

  • Fun New Fishing Feats

  • Surprises in the Supermarket
...and more...


  1. #3 and #4 are really funny. The perps are always covering their faces. LOL

    And I think it's funny (and meaningless) to also list the person's profession (which does seem to most often be Dona de Casa).

  2. Meredith ~

    It is funny, and still not something i'm quite accustomed to... Although i secretly do a countdown on when they will start crying, i find it more than a little disturbing. I don't watch the evening news regularly (because it's not the kind of stuff i want to dwell on right before bed) though i catch the midday news almost daily. It seems to be less stress inducing.

    I finally found a 'regular person on the street' survey to accurately show how often [and unnecessary it is that] our professions come into play here. The most irrelevant title i’ve seen is “aposentado,” or “retired.” They should go the distance & tell us from exactly what they are retired. ;)


Questions and comments are welcomed! While anonymous comments are allowed for those without a blogger account, please leave a link and (or at least) A NAME, so that we know who you are.

Anonymous authors are only good for ransom notes & random quotes (one's difficult to sight, the other is tough to cite).

So, for the productivity of discussions on this site, please leave us your alias, given name [aka secret identity], handle, ID, nickname, nom de plume, or otherwise e-version of your John Hancock. Feel free to make one up, just for us. We'd be honored.

Thanks for playing! :)