Conectas and Agência Pública finance reports on police violence and the federal military intervention

Four awards of R$ 7,000 each will be distributed to reporters that propose new and original stories about these themes

Violência policial e intervenção militar são tema de microbolsas para jornalistas em parceria com a Agência Pública (Foto: André Porto Violência policial e intervenção militar são tema de microbolsas para jornalistas em parceria com a Agência Pública (Foto: André Porto

Brazil has one of the police forces that most kills and dies in the world. Data from the Brazilian Annual Public Security Report shows that, in 2016, more than 4,000 people died as a result of police interventions and 437 public security agents were victims of homicide. Questions like these need to be investigated urgently, especially in the year that a public security-related military intervention is underway in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Agência Pública and Conectas Human Rights launched the Reporting on Police Violence and the Federal Intervention Award in order to shed light on debates like these. Four awards valued at R$7000 each will be distributed to reporters who propose new and original stories about these themes. Applications can be submitted online until May 25.

Journalists from around Brazil who are interested in producing in-depth investigations about the causes and impacts of police violence and the federal intervention can apply.

“Given the current polarized context, in which security forces in Brazil are both applauded and rejected, we need more investigative, in-depth reporting that can explain why our police force is so lethal and also why so many police officers are dying. Journalism also has to build capacity to monitor this situation, in which military forces are becoming increasingly involved in public security. This is what we aim to do with the funding award,” said Natalia Viana, co-director of Agência Pública.

“The militarized, authoritarian and racist logic that dominates the Brazilian political structure causes a significant number of rights violations. In pointing out structural factors, we are not referring to the individual police officers, but rather to the policies that were inherited from the dictatorship and are upheld in democratic governments. Omission and corroboration by external control organs, such as the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and the growing use of the Armed Forces in realms that are of civil responsibility, such as public security, are alarming,” explains Rafael Custódio, coordinator of the Institutional Violence program at Conectas. “With the Awards, we not only want to support good investigative journalism, but also want to contribute to bringing stories to the forefront that illustrate this context of widespread disrespect of fundamental rights,” Custódio notes.

Candidates should include a pitch, work plan and budget. They should also describe prior experience producing investigative reporting. The funding can be used as the reporter chooses to pay for the cost of producing the report.

The winners will be chosen by the directors of Agência Pública and Conectas. In addition to the award funding, journalists will receive mentorship from Agência Pública to produce the report. Agência Pública will also be responsible for editing, publishing and distributing the reports. This round, pre-selected candidates will go through an interview phase. The winners will be announced on June 11.

For more information, contact contato@apublica.org.

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