President and presidential candidate for re-election Dilma Rousseff (C)
Rio de Janeiro - AFP
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, seeking re-election next week, says she will pursue media regulation if she returns for a second term, seeking to boost pluralism without influencing editorial content, media reports said Saturday.
A media bill has been in the offing since Rousseff took office in January 2011, and she told a meeting of mainly pro-government bloggers late Friday she intends to move the issue forward if she sees off nearest challenger, environmentalist Marina Silva, at the polls.
Rousseff said her intention is not to influence content, but rather to break down an "asymmetrical" concentration of media ownership that she regards as harmful.
She insisted the government would not lean on media to influence what they publish.
"To regulate content is something for dictatorships," said Rousseff, who said the government wanted to work on financial regulation to "prevent oligopolistic relationships coming about."
Brazil's media groups, widely censored under the 1964-85 military dictatorship, are for the most part in the hands of influential, wealthy families.
Most major news outlets are regularly critical of Rousseff and her leftist Workers Party administration.
Latest polls suggest Rousseff is out in front in her election tussle with Silva.
A Datafolha poll Friday gave her a 13 percent first-round lead and saw her narrowly leading second round intentions for the first time, though a two percent margin of error puts the pair in a technical tie.