FEATURE-In Brazil's precarious favelas, poor residents make their own media
By Chris Arsenault
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 6 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Unhappy with the portrayal of her community in the mainstream press, single mother Carla Siccos decided to create her own media platform to highlight a different side of life in Rio de Janeiro's infamous City of God.
The growth of community-run media in the City of God, internationally notorious because of the gangster movie that bears its name, is part of a broader trend in Rio's often-violent slums or favelas, media experts said.
The explosion of free social networking platforms has allowed poor residents of favelas, communities where residents often lack formal property rights and worry about being displaced, to tell their own stories.
"Reporters from outside come for the bad news, but the good news just flows away," said Siccos, editor of CDD Acontece (City of God Happenings), a volunteer-run media portal covering the community.
"I created this to show people the good news inside the community," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
"I work to tell stories that connect people to each other," she said, standing beside small brick houses in the neighbourhood 20 km (12 miles) from central Rio.
With more than 53,000 likes on its Facebook page and several thousand more receiving updates through a WhatsApp group, the platform publishes news about local events, new training courses, business openings or parties.
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