Print media booms in South America's biggest economy
The historic Olympic Games win for Rio de Janeiro, which prompted thousands of revellers to turn Copacabana beach into a giant party, is not the only reason why Brazilian journalists are celebrating.
In contrast to consumers in Europe and the US, the people of Brazil are reading newspapers in bigger numbers than ever. In fact, print media is noisily booming in South America's biggest economy. The total circulation of Brazilian newspapers rose 12% in 2007, according to the Instituto Verificador de Circulacao, the country's equivalent of the Audit Bureau of Circulations, compared to a worldwide average rise of 2.7%. And last year, despite the woes of the credit crunch, sales of Brazilian papers rose a further 5% to 4.35m newspapers per day.
There has been an explosion in the number of colourful tabloids packing in sports, celebrity and crime news, freesheets are a big presence at railway stations and the country's three established national papers – Folha de Sao Paulo, Estado and O Globo – are all growing.
"There's a new, emerging group in Brazil with much more consumption power than in the past and a great deal of pent-up demand," says Marcelo Salomon, the chief Brazilian economist at Barclays Capital in Sao Paulo, who points out that Brazil's brief recession was over by the second quarter of 2009.
Rapid economic growth has swelled the number of middle-class people with disposable incomes and the standing of poorer Brazilians has improved thanks to a popular family stipend program expanded by the president, Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, and rapid wealth creation in the agribusiness sector: "A very low part of the pyramid has started to crawl up over the last six to eight years."
Newspapers have enjoyed rising advertising revenue every year since 2001. One paper, Super Noticia from the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais, has more than doubled its sales within two years, becoming Brazil's third biggest paper.
So, as redundancies mount on Fleet Street, there's always the possibility of a job near Copacabana beach. And at the next international summit, we all know which country's journalists should be shouting drinks for the downtrodden hacks in the press room.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016