About the News Atlas

A project to identify and map news media in Brazil

Access all the data here (Portuguese-only)


Atlas da Notícia (News Atlas) is a pioneering project aimed at mapping the local and regional press in Brazil amidst the digital revolution. It is carried on through a partnership between Projor – Instituto para o Desenvolvimento do Jornalismo and the data-driven news agency Volt Data Lab.

Atlas is focused on identifying local outlets covering civic local subjects, such as public spending, local law making process, health, education, security, mobility and the environment. It has also been planned into incremental phases.

Completed and published in November 2017, the first phase has identified 5,354 news outlets (both print and digital) in 1,125 of a total of Brazilian 5,570 municipalities. Conversely, Atlas has revealed the existence of so-called “news deserts” in 4,500 municipalities, home to 70 million people, some 35% of Brazilian population.

The first phase has also delivered an open database and a report including a series of analytical texts, maps and charts published by Observatório da Imprensa, Projor’s media watchdog website.

Atlas da Notícia is inspired by the America’s Growing Deserts of News project, developed by the Columbia Journalism Review to map local newspapers in the United States.

The second phase aims to improve Atlas’s interactive platform and database and also to develop deeper on-site analytical research in a sample of “news deserts.”

Key Figures

  • Key Figures
    • Total mapped media organizations: 12,467
      • Radio stations: 4,007
      • Print newspapers: 3,368
      • TV stations: 2,773
      • Online news: 2,263
      • Magazines: 56
  • Municipalities with at least one print or online news outlet: 2,710
    • They represent around 15% of Brazil’s population (30 million people)

The team

Angela Pimenta – President of Projor since July 2015, holds a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia Journalism School (2001). She is the executive-coordinator of Projeto Credibilidade and was a senior editor for Exame magazine in Brasília (2007-2011), partner of Patri Políticas Públicas consultancy (2012-2014) and representative of the Online News Association in Brazil (2009-2014).

Adriana Garcia – Operations director at Projor since May 2017, is a journalist and digital media consultant. She holds a Master’s from the University of São Paulo (USP) and was a J.S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University (2013). Digital Comms Director for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, she worked at Reuters, Exame, Veja SP and Folha de S.Paulo for over two decades and also created Orbital Mídia, an advocacy and discussion hub to promote digital transformation in Journalism.

Pedro Varoni – Editorial Director at Projor since May 2017, he is also the editor of Observatório da Imprensa and a professor and researcher. He holds a Phd in Linguistics from the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar). Joined EPTV and was Journalism Director at TV Sergipe. He was general director at state-owned company Empresa Brasileira de Comunicação (EBC) in 2016.

Francisco Belda – Journalist, professor at the Social Communication Department and vice-coordinator of the Graduate Program on Media and Technology at Sao Paulo State University (Unesp). He was a reporter, editor, manager, and director of news companies. He is also visiting scholar at Brandeis University, in Massachusetts, US. He earned a PhD in Production Engineering and a master’s degree in Communication Sciences from University of Sao Paulo (USP).

Sérgio Spagnuolo – Managing-editor of Volt Data Lab, has worked for several media companies, such as Reuters, Yahoo News and Mergermarket, and has been part of innovative projects, like fact-checking website Aos Fatos. Holds a bachelor degree in Journalism from Mackenzie University and a Master’s degree in International Relations from Pontifícia Universidade Católica, both in São Paulo. He is a Tow-Knight fellow for Entrepreneurial Journalism in the City University of New York (CUNY).

Renata Hirota - Renata Hirota is an analyst at data journalism agency Volt Data Lab. She has worked with data driven stories and projects such as Atlas da Notícia, which maps media companies throughout Brazil. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of São Paulo and is currently studying for a BS in Statistics.