the Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
The Murdoch-owned newspaper has a fairly small sized holding in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A small little office across the hall from the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal’s foreign correspondent for Brazil is John Lyons, husband to the Bloomberg chief we met the day before, Adriana Lyons.
There are sizable differences between the two offices, Bloomberg carrying 40-some reporters, a TV studio, full conference and teaching center, kitchen and many more amenities, while Wall Street Journal’s office was almost cramped with the 15 staff members and computers.
The mentality itself was different as well. In Bloomberg there seemed to be a rush around the newsroom, conversations and phone calls happening in almost every corner. There was a rush to push out content for the world-wide market on the Bloomberg terminal, where as at the Wall Street bureau, it was a little more relaxed.
John Lyons has been covering Brazil for several years, and he notices a big difference between writing in the U.S. and abroad. Every morning the first big question is “is there a big Brazil story today that needs to be done?” he said.
If not, Lyons spends a majority of his day fostering out more in-depth stories. Frequently, as cocaine and crack are becoming problems in the blossoming country, John Lyons has traveled into the Amazon to uncover the trail of drugs being smuggled from Columbia and abroad.
“When a country grows, creating a middle class, there are hidden problems,” said Lyons. “It is similar to the the 1970’s in the United States”
Brazil’s boom is in connection with the massive construction projects underway in preparation for the World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Billions of dollars are being flushed into projects nation-wide to prepare the country for the millions of tourists that will be visiting the coastal cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, as well as the inland cities like Brasilia.
For the World Cup, Lyons seeing it being a potential disaster. The problem is infrastructure he said. The airports, hotels and transportation is a “mess,” but in the end it really won’t matter.
“Soccer is a rough and tumble sport with rough and tumble fans.”
What he means is that, at the end of the World Cup people will leave Brazil hungover and moderately happy with the country overall. They won’t be the ones criticizing taxi drivers and hotel rooms, and as long as there is cheap beer and good soccer, the World Cup fans will be OK.
The Olympics on the other hand, is a different story. Not only does an Olympic bid spur billions of dollars in construction for a city, but it also means potentially big bucks from outside investors. For 2016, Lyons seems a little more optimistic.
“Rio is Making a big effort to make the Olympics happen,” he said. “Everyone, from the rich to the poor loves that city. My bet is that they do it.”
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