What I have been writing (3)

I wrote a short piece for The Conversation UK about the so-called evangelical news in Brazil.

I discuss the extent to which a range of websites aimed at evangelical readers is slowly spreading the so-called “gospel news.” These are news pieces, op-eds, and content that prioritise a particular interpretation of reality based on religious faith.

I argue that these new content producers might have some influence on Brazil’s public opinion by normalising conservative values in society. For instance, publishing stories against gay rights or abortion, although the breadth of their coverage is much larger than this.

This piece is a follow-up of my first academic research, which has become a short book. I investigated this phenomenon from the outset. Back in 2008, evangelical websites were obscure online spaces. Once turned into professionalised portals, they seem to talk with a broader audience.

In my research, I did my best to avoid stereotypes and assumptions about the vast evangelical community in Brazil. The community already has to deal with an engendered image of fanatics or corrupt, especially from Brazilian media, as I discuss in the article.

However, it is necessary to shed more light on its growing media presence. What are the further implications from advancing such a religious way of engaging with reality to a mass public?

Are evangelical news websites promoting views that might threaten minorities? Do they portray gay, indigenous and women’s rights unfairly and what does it matter for the latter? How powerful are evangelical editors once the country’s President is one of their community? In sum, is the prominence of gospel news websites echoing Brazil’s ideological, cultural, and religious re-orientation?

I do not respond to all these questions in the article, but it touches upon some of these issues as a way of starting the debate.