UM grande artigo no New York Times sobre o Vietname, um país que já visitei e do qual gosto. Politicamente, as coisas por lá parecem estar numa encruzilhada e podem dar para o torto...




Misconceptions about journalism

It frequently occurs in Macau that public officers and those in top level positions seem to lack the know-
ledge about basic concepts that are indispensable to the activity that they are supposedly managing. To demonstrate this idea, nothing more is needed than to attend a Legislative Assembly session and see all the inanities said and done there.
This ignorance is extended to large sectors of the public, as we might witness when uninformed people have their say in the media or in the endless public consultation sessions.
One of the last debates that left me puzzled shows a glaring misunderstanding about what a journalist is and their role in society. It all started during the New Year when TDM decided to halt the weekly outdoor program Macau Forum, alleging a “lack of human resources” and the “need to focus the work on the coming Legislative Assembly election.”
Lawmakers like Pereira Coutinho and grassroots associations slammed the cessation. It is true, as Coutinho commented, that the program was a plat-
form for Macau people to put forth and discuss problems of public concern. After months of protest the show recently returned to the airwaves with new rules prescribed, including “the right to refuse announced or prospective candidates to the AL to speak to a live audience.”
The same forces that (rightly) protested when the program was suspended are now slamming the rules. “The public’s right to demand lawmakers explanations regarding their work can’t be restricted under any circumstances. It’s anecdotal,” said Pereira Coutinho about the “new rules,” quoted by Ponto Final. The omnipresent New Macau Association President Jason Chao added: “We heard rumors that someone in the government ordered the suspension of the program to TDM, because there were fears that it could be used by persons like us to gain advantage in an election year. These new rules seem to indicate that the suspicions were true.”
It’s obvious that the suspension of the program due to alleged technical reasons is questionable. But Macau Forum is supposed to be a televised debate moderated by journalists. Anywhere else in the world (except maybe in places like North Korea) in a debate of that kind, it’s up to the editorial team (made up of journalists) to choose the guests and moderate the audience intervention. The criteria they choose should be “journalistic,” assuring in a balanced way the right to freedom of expression and opinions and avoiding the danger of manipulation. Otherwise we will have some lawmakers and associations attempting a hostile takeover of the debates to run election campaigns.
Since we’re talking about journalism, let me say that Jason Chao’s pretension to be a journalist and the fact that the Government Information Bureau seems to be taking it seriously should insult all the professional journalists in Macau. Let’s recall what happened during Wu Bangguo’s (Chairman of the National People’s Congress) visit to Macau. Chao was filming the visit allegedly as the Director of the “Macau Concealers” (MC) publication. He was (wrongly) detained by the Judiciary Police for several hours. He alleged that this hindered his right to cover the event “as a journalist.” This is a mystification, because no one can be the president of the most active political association in Macau and, at the same time, be a journalist.
Back to basics: MC is a propaganda pamphlet. If the Press Law was regulated, it could never be considered a journalistic publication. And Jason Chao could never be considered a journalist. Don’t think that I’m being protectionist or arguing for the restraint of press freedom. The undisputed fact is that not all of those who write in newspapers, talk on the radio or appear on the TV are journalists.
A journalist follows a demanding Code of Ethics. It’s true that the local Press Law doesn’t establish that Code, but there are many international codes available to reflect on. For example, the International Federation of Journalists published standards of professional conduct for journalists, positing: “1. Respect for truth and for the right of the public to truth is the first duty of the journalist. 2. The journalist shall at all times defend the principles of freedom in the honest collection and publication of news.” “Reporter Chao” does political campaigns, not journalism.
(by PB, in MDT)



 “sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love”

(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in
are winging in the blossoming)

 lovers go and lovers come
awandering awondering
but any two are perfectly
alone there’s nobody else alive

 (such a sky and such a sun
I never knew and neither did you
and everybody never breathed
quite so many kinds of yes)

not a tree can count his leaves
each herself by opening
but shining who by thousands mean
only one amazing thing

 (secretly adoring shyly
tiny winging darting floating
merry in the blossoming
always joyful selves are singing)

“sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love”

by e.e. cummings



IT’s curious, historically speaking, that Margaret Thatcher died on the same day that forensic specialists, in Chile, exhumed the remains of the late, great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. To read in the New Yorker.




HYDE Park, 1969: the counterculture's greatest day. And the Rolling Stones came too...


A secção de jornalismo da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra (FLUC) vai evocar o jornalista João Mesquita (1957-2009), antigo presidente do Sindicato dos Jornalistas, num Colóquio sobre Jornalismo e Cidadania que se realizará no próximo dia 11 de Abril.



QUAIS são os melhores restaurates de Macau? Veja a minha resposta no portal de viagens da Forbes


KEROUAC bum bum bum 




CAMANÉ, fado singer

Fado reconnects with younger generations


Born into a family of musicians and singers, Camané has become one of the most successful artists of contemporary fado. His work has contributed greatly to the creation of a new golden era of Portuguese music and pulling the genre out of obscurity. The artist was in Macau last Saturday to perform at Venetian’s CotaiArena. At the end of the show, preformed as part of Macau’s Literary Festival, he received a standing ovation. Later he talked with local journalists about current fado culture and his impressions of Macau.  

- Fado has been on the spotlight again, regaining the popularity it had lost. And you have been one of the artists that contributed to its resurgence. How do you describe this change?

Camané – When I started to sing fado, my contemporaries thought that I was weird, because I sang music that they didn’t understand. They did not even want to understand it. I was ashamed, in school some classmates joked with me. When I started to perform in ‘Casas de Fado’ [venues where fado is sung], the other singers had about forty plus years on me. But they taught me well and I developed in the midst of fado and people passionate about it.  I distanced myself from my friends because they did not identify themselves with the music that I created. After a few years, especially after my second album, I started to reconnect with my own generation. However it was very difficult. I remember that when I recorded my first album no one invited me to perform on television.

- When did you start to realize that the tide had turned for fado?

Camané – In 1997-1998 I won several press prizes and journalists, especially the younger ones, started to pay attention to my work. This was  at a time when nobody else paid attention to fado. Musicians that preferred other genres liked what I did and started to invite me to collaborate with them. It was these musicians who helped open doors for me.

- Is fado popular  internationally or is it constrained to Portugal?

Camané – At this point I play as much in Portugal as I do overseas. My scheduled for next year indicates that I will play mostly out of the country. That said,  I am always playing in Portugal. A ‘best off’ album, including themes from all my albums, is to be released and I will be performing this in Lisbon and Oporto.

- What has caused growing international popularity of fado?

Camané – The recent inclusion of fado to the list of the World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage was important and fado is often included in world music festivals. Yet the interest and curiosity towards fado has always existed, it is just more consistent and festivals often include fado.

- How was the reception that you had here in Macau?

Camané - I really liked the concert. I think that I was able to construct a good relationship with the audience. I was a bit nervous at the beginning, because usually I have trouble when singing in places where the air conditioning is switched on. I started on the defensive but it got better and the concert grew. I guess that even people who don’t understand Portuguese have gotten used to this genre.

- How did you find the city, compared with previous visits?

Camané – Completely different. It looks like another city. The first time I was here was in 1997, after that I visited in 1999 before the Handover. Those were different concerts, of a smaller scale. I visited again in 2005 or 2006 where I did a concert in the Cultural Center along with the Macau’s Chinese Orchestra and my musicians. Each time I come, I notice how quickly things are built. I remember the scarcity of buildings in Coloane and Taipa and today there is one more city. It’s incredible

- Besides the ‘best off’, are you working on any other projects?

Camané - Following the ‘best off’ I will record another album to be released in 2014. It is made up from 15 themes. The lyrics are written but the music is still to be composed. The style reflects my personality, as always, but this is the first time that I have recorded an album in which a single person writes the lyrics and poetry. I can’t reveal who he is, but he is a writer. I can only say that the fifteen pieces that he has written are really great. This is actually the first time I have talked about this new album.

(in MDT)

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