#contaRio 2014

When journalists meet

Also available in Deutsch, Português

Seven German scholarship holders of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s journalist academy JONA and seven Brazilian aspiring journalists created the trilingual website contario.net during an eleven days long workshop. This website enlightens its visitor in a very striking manner about the opportunities and challenges in one of the most famous cities of Latin America: Rio de Janeiro. The use of data, images, videos and short stories provides the reader with detailed insights into the lives of Rio’s residents.

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Drummer of the "Cordão da Bola Preta"

Drummer of the "Cordão da Bola Preta"

Cover: #contaRio 2014

    Rio de Janeiro in February of 2014 - construction sites everywhere. The city is preparing for two mega events: the FIFA World Cup in summer 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. When the Cariocas –the inhabitants of Rio - go to work early in the morning, they find themselves caught in traffic jams, be it in their own cars or in overcrowded and overused public buses. Another possibility is the use of the metro system; yet the two only existing lines, buildt approximately 20 years ago, is accessible to those only who live close to one of the relatively few metro stations.

    Still, Rio is home of one of the famous beaches of the world, Copacabana, which welcomes her guests in the distinctive shape of a crescent. It is a fancy playground for the beautiful and the rich. Moreover, the city is also home to Ipanema and the popular samba neighborhoods of Lapa and Santa Teresa. It is exactly this Rio de Janeiro, full of contrasts, excitement and beauty, which the journalists attempt to capture with their stories.

    They tell us about Monica, a member of the new middle class, referred to as the so-called “C” class. Members of the C class are those with a relatively low income, yet who also posses a vigorous will, aiming at coming to more prosperity by their determination to work hard relentlessly. Some of our journalists joined Monica, who has to get up at four o’clock in the morning in order to be at work on time three hours later. Her main aspiration is to provide her daughter with a good education and sufficient material prosperity.

    There is also Marcos, who lives in the community Vila Autódromo, a remote part in the west of the city. Next to his house sits the construction site of the Olympic Park for the Olympic Games 2016. Marcos, his wife and children will probably be forced to leave their home since a highway is planned to be built there. However, Marcos does not want to leave his home and fights for his right to keep it.

    When the Portuguese mistakenly discovered the city near the Sugarloaf Mountain and the Guanabara Bay 449 years ago on a day in January, they believed the bay to be a river. Consequently the name Rio de Janeiro emerged, which literally means “The River of January”. The bay continues to be a center of attraction and a myth for many people. In 2016 this stunning scenery will be used for sail and surf competitions during the Olympic Games. The shocking reality of the water’s quality however threatens the original plan. The pollution of the bay is such extreme that the state government of Rio de Janeiro assigned fishers to clean it. Yet, this turns out to be a Sisyphean task.

    Those are only three examples of an ensemble of exciting video and film projects, significantly supported by data material – all of which can be accessed through contario.net in three languages: German, English and Portuguese. The stories describe the diverse culture of the city of Rio de Janeiro and the Cariocas give impressive insights into their daily lives. It is precisely this kind of work which was taught by the freelance journalist Astrid Csuraji, her colleague and data journalism trainer Marcos Maas and the Brazilian Professor from Rio’s State University UFRJ, Cristiane Costa as well as the accompanying technical staff. The results are stunningly and visually authentic and imposing histories. We can only encourage you to discover yourself the portrait of the “marvelous city” of Rio de Janeiro, as an outcome of the workshop. Just click on contaRio.net!

    The seminar was organized by the Brazil Office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.


    Friedrich Christian Matthäus

    Publication series

    Event Reports


    Brazil, June 23, 2014


    Franziska Hübner

    Deputy Head of KAS Office Brazil

    Franziska Hübner
    Phone +55 21 2220 5441
    Fax +55 21 2220 5448
    Languages: Deutsch,‎ English,‎ Español,‎ Italiano,‎ Português