In 2022, the two oldest cooperatives of Brazilian journalists still in operation will complete 15 years of uninterrupted activity: Tribuna Independente and Portal Desacato. The achievements, worthy of celebration, happen with a daily dose of resilience and a financial effort from journalists who found in self-management a solution to survive in the market.
Tribuna Independente, from Alagoas, in northeastern Brazil, was born when the newspaper Tribuna de Alagoas closed its doors in early 2007. The 157 workers, including journalists, press workers and administrative staff, had not received wages for three months. They started a labor strike, camping out in the newspaper's newsroom and printing plant.
Over time, the movement realized that the owners would not bother to pay off the labor debt, around R$9 million [around USD $4.3 million at the time], and decided to take over the newspaper's operations. The use of the facilities and machinery was negotiated with the former owners. The Cooperative of Journalists and Graphic Artists of the State of Alagoas (Jorgraf, by its Portuguese acronym) was born. The first edition of the co-op newspaper ran on July 10, 2007.
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