Wikinews/Interview of the month/January 2006 Questions

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About the candidate[edit]

Ricardo Serran Lobo is a Brazilian blogger who began writing about his famous neighbor: the politician Roberto Jefferson, head of the Brazilian Labor Party in the Brazilian Congress of Deputies. Jefferson has become a major figure in the ongoing Brazilian mensalão scandal revolving around corruption and bribery.

Vizinho do Jefferson [1] quickly became very popular among Brazilians, describing the routine of Jefferson, while providing information about politics and fresh news about the scandal. Lobo's blog got third place in the Best Of Blogs contest run by Deutsche Welle International.

Lobo gets an intimate look by living in Brasilia, the center of Brasilian politics, near residences of parlamentarians (including Roberto Jefferson), public buildings and the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies. Or, as he says in his blog: "near the eye of the hurricane" since the crisis came out.

At first, Lobo began describing the diary activities of his famous neighbor deputy Roberto Jefferson. As the crisis moved on, he began to describe the political events regarding it. His writings evolved to not only what is going on with Jefferson, but what is going on in Brazilian Congress, and has interviewed politicians, including Roberto Jefferson himself.

The blog tries to be informative, with a lot of humour (common with Brazilians), and some protests against the bad habits of Brazilian politics in general.

Jefferson's neighbor, the blog, is an example of citizen journalism and it shows that ordinary people can compete with professional media.

Some excerpts from the blog translated to English.


Jefferson's neighbor, the blog

Roberto Jefferson's site at the Brazilian House of Deputies (this site is being shutting down because Jefferson has been expelled out of the Brazilian House, some links may not work)

Brazilian Chamber of Deputies

Jefferson's neighbor in the media[edit]

Blog sobre Jefferson pode render prêmio a internauta de Brasília (Blog about Jefferson can render a prize for user from Brasilia), Folha de S. Paulo (in Portuguese), September 2005.

Vizinho de Jefferson descreve "clima de velório" em seu blog, Folha de S. Paulo (in Portuguese), September 2005.

Vizinho revela intimidades de Roberto Jefferson em diário virtual, Folha de S. Paulo (in Portuguese), July 2005.

Blog brasileiro é indicado a prêmio internacional, O Estado de S. Paulo (in Portuguese), September 2005.

Blog espiona dia-a-dia de Roberto Jefferson, O Estado de S. Paulo (in Portuguese), July 2005.

Blog do vizinho espiona deputado Roberto Jefferson, INFO Magazine (in Portuguese), July 2005.

The Brazilian scandal[edit]


Previous coverage:

June 6, 2005 New denunciations of political corruption create severe political crisis in Brazil

June 16, 2005 Brazil Political crisis: Minister José Dirceu leaves the government

June 27, 2005 Lula tries to save the government with alliance with opposition party

June 28, 2005 Scenario for impeachment of Lula raised in Brazil and Workers' Movement and other social movements support Lula, Senators warn of 'Chavenization'

June 29, 2005 Witnesses expose big corruption scheme of the Brazilian ruling party

July 3, 2005 New denunciations of Brazilian deputy and evidence make things difficult for Lula

July 11, 2005 Worker's Party leader detained in Sao Paulo's airport with $100,000 hidden in his underpants

September 5, 2005 Brazilian Vote Buying parliamentary commission present first joint preliminary report

October 30, 2005 Cuban funds tied to Lula campaign, Brazilian magazine alleges


Escándalo de corrupción en Brasil


Crise política ameaça governo Lula (extensive information, but in Portuguese)


The Mensalão scandal article contains a great deal of information on the scandal.

The biography of Roberto Jefferson.


Photos of Roberto Jefferson



The scandal[edit]

  • How far does the corruption go? (Até onde vai a corrupcão?)
  • Does it still exist? (Ela ainda existe?)
  • Do you believe Lula did know about the mensalão? (Você acha que Lula sabia sobre o "mensalão"?)
  • Are the people who live in Brasilia too much angry? (As pessoas que moram em Brasília estão muito irritadas?)
  • Do you think that the corruption scandal will end "much ado about nothing"?(Você acha que vai "acabar em pizza"*?)
*Colloquial Brazilian Portuguese for "Much ado about nothing"

Blogs and Citizen Journalism[edit]

  • Do you know about citizen journalism in Portuguese? (Já ouviu falar sobre jornalismo participativo em português?)
  • Have you read the Portuguese-language Wikinews coverage about the scandal? What do you think about it? (Já leu a cobertura do Wikinews em português sobre o escândalo? O que acha dela?)
  • Do you think that Brazilian media has been controlled by Workers Party sympathizants? (Você acha que o petismo tomou conta das redações de jornais e revistas do Brasil?)
  • Is this your first international interview? What newspapers or magazines have been in contact with you? Did you expect that your blog would become so famous? (Esta é a sua primeira entrevista internacional? Quais jornais ou revistas já lhe procuraram? Você esperava que seu blog ficasse tão famoso?)

Personal questions to Ricardo Serran Lobo[edit]

  • What was your aim at starting a blog? (Qual era o seu objetivo ao criar o blog?)
  • What do you do for living? (Qual é a sua profissão?)

Brazilian politics in general[edit]

  • Are Brazilian politicians more corrupts now than before? (Os políticos brasileiros são mais corruptos agora do que antes?)
  • Political scandals like this have happened before in Brazil? (Escândalos políticos como este já aconteceram antes no Brasil?)
  • In the streets, how do ordinary Brazilian people see this issue? (Nas ruas, como as pessoas comuns vêem a crise?)

Roberto Jefferson and his routine[edit]

  • Why did Roberto Jefferson expose the scandal, in your opinion? (Por que Roberto Jefferson expôs o escândalo, na sua opinião?)
  • Is Roberto Jefferson still having instructions about singing? What did he sing?(Roberto Jefferson continua tendo aulas de canto? O que ele gosta de cantar?)