Brazil's constitution guarantees free expression and prohibits censorship.
But in practice, the news media are impeded by defamation lawsuits so common they're known as the "industry of compensation" and by lower court judges who routinely interpret Brazilian law in ways that restrict press freedom.
Authorities won important convictions in the recent murders of two journalists, although Brazil remains a dangerous country for the press. Four journalists have been killed for their work in five years. As in much of Latin America, journalists who work in large government and business centers such as Brasília, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro often enjoy more protection than their colleagues in impoverished, isolated regions of the Amazon and the northeast. In the country's vast interior—where the influence of government is weak and that of drug trafficking and corruption, strong—journalists censor themselves for fear of retaliation.