Major layoff rocks Brazil's journalism industry

BY Júlia Ledur

Published August 10, 2018

On Monday, Editora Abril, one of the largest publishing companies in Brazil, discharged 500 employees, 171 of whom were journalists. According to data gathered by A Conta dos Passaralhos*, an independent project that tracks layoffs of journalists at media companies in Brazil, this was the industry’s largest mass dismissal in the country since 2012. Along with the layoffs, the group announced the end of 10 publications (magazines and websites).

All the layoffs
of journalists in Brazil

Editora Abril fired the most journalists since 2012.

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SOURCE: A Conta dos Passaralhos

Abril's crisis

Editora Abril occupies not only the first position in the rank of largest mass dismissals, but the second and third as well. The company is also the publication that fired the highest number of journalists since 2012 (385), followed by Infoglobo and Grupo Estado.

News outlets that fired
the most journalists

Editora Abril, one of the largest editorial companies in Brazil, leads the rank.

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SOURCE: A Conta dos Passaralhos

Founded in São Paulo in 1950 by the Italian American Victor Civita, Abril has been facing difficulties adapting to journalism’s digital revolution since 2013. As an attempt to minimize this struggle, the company decided to editorially lean towards conservatism, supporting the right-wing anti-Workers’ Party movement. This strategy was clearly noticeable in pieces published on Veja, the group’s traditionally conservative weekly magazine that covers political and economical issues.


Since 2012, 2.327 journalists were fired from newsrooms in Brazil. Part of this phenomenon is due to the country’s aggravating economic recession that has been affecting the private sphere since 2014, throughout Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment process.

A total of 685 journalists were fired in 2015, by far the year with the most layoffs. In general, print has been the most affected journalism segment. While newspapers fired the most in 2015, there seems to be a shift in the layoffs trend to magazines, that fired 211 only in 2018. Meanwhile, digital publications and radio and TV networks have maintained low numbers since 2012.

Number of fired journalists
per publication type and year

2015 was the year with the highest number of layoffs.

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SOURCE: Datafolha


* A Conta dos Passaralhos has compiled data from publications that report on the Brazilian media into a database and an API. The database is maintained by Brazilian journalism agency Volt Data Lab and by journalist Sérgio Spagnuolo.

The methodology does not provide clear-cut figures, since not every layoff gets reported on the dot (especially single cases and those away from major cities like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Curitiba). But it’s definitely a good indicator of the Brazilian media’s performance. Read more about A Conta dos Passaralhos’ methodology.