This is an unprecedented initiative involving six of the main vehicles of communication in Brazil to promote the transparency of data on cases and deaths caused by Covid-19 and, more recently, on applied vaccines.
In the consortium, teams share tasks and the information obtained so that Brazilians can learn about the evolution of Covid-19, the consolidated numbers of tested cases with positive results for the new coronavirus and the doses of vaccines applied in all units of the federation. A balance is released daily.
It is a fundamental service, broadcast on all platforms and with unquestionable journalistic relevance.
The consortium was formed in response to the decision by the government of president Jair Bolsonaro to restrict access to data on the pandemic.
So, g1, O Globo, Extra, O Estado de S.Paulo, Folha de S.Paulo and UOL decided to form a partnership, leaving the competition aside, to work collaboratively in search of the necessary information in the 26 states and the District Federal.
Something new, but innovative and necessary. By joining forces and showing their commitment to informing, the vehicles sent a sign of confidence to the population in the professional media and reinforced their fundamental role of demanding transparency from government entities.
There has never been a journalistic partnership between the vehicles, direct competitors before. Journalism’s mission to inform the population, however, made it necessary to act at a decisive moment in the midst of the pandemic.
The speed with which the teams were formed to collect the data, the accuracy of the information and the concern with the public are outstanding characteristics of this partnership. The daily collaboration between newsrooms around a common goal makes the consortium a unique initiative.
The consortium became a national reference. The data are considered more reliable than those released by the Ministry of Health. The partnership is today the main source of information for other press vehicles and is seen as a fundamental channel by the population.
There is a whole concern with the verification of the data. A careful collection is carried out in each unit of the federation (that is, in the 26 states and the Federal District), whether by email, WhatsApp, website or phone, and a spreadsheet (of Google), which all vehicles have access to, is used to consolidate the information. There is an entire collaborative process carried out in an organized manner, with the objective of providing the population with the most faithful and accurate picture of the current situation of the pandemic.
The cells are automated in the spreadsheet, providing a daily bulletin to be shared with all newsrooms, to be published daily at 8 pm.
Each vehicle, however, has its way of disclosing data. On g1, for example, there is also a map: https://especiais.g1.globo.com/bemestar/coronavirus/estados-brasil-mortes-casos-media-movel/
What was the hardest part of this project?
There are more than 100 journalists involved in the project, spread across the newsrooms of six competing vehicles in Brazil.
The organization of work and collaboration involving reporters and newsroom editors with different ways of working are, without a doubt, one of the hallmarks of this partnership.
It is no easy task to make a task force like this work, organically and without errors, for so long.
This is an unprecedented, exclusive and unique initiative in the Brazilian media.
What can others learn from this project?
Journalism lives. Journalism breathes. And its role, of promoting transparency and providing an essential service to the public, always speaks louder.
The purpose of bringing information to the public is the engine of this collaboration. A purpose that motivates much more than competition.