Journalist and member of ABI, Niomar Muniz Sodré Bittencourt, was a notable figure in the press

She represented Brazil at the Venice Biennale and the Brazilian Press Association at the Chapultepec Conference in Mexico City.
Social Sciences
22 March 2022
Journalist and member of ABI, Niomar Muniz Sodré Bittencourt, was a notable figure in the press

Niomar Muniz Sodré Bittencourt (1916-2003), a journalist and owner of the newspaper Correio da Manhã, was born in Salvador, Bahia, and she was a notable figure in the Brazilian press. At a young age, she started to write novels and short stories, and later she wrote for newspapers and magazines such as A Noite, Vamos Ler, Carioca and, above all, Correio da Manhã.

In 1948, she was involved in founding the Rio de Janeiro Modern Art Museum, together with her husband, Paulo Bittencourt. She later served on the museum’s board of directors. Paulo Bittencourt was the director and owner of Correio da Manhã. When he died in 1963, Niomar became the owner and director of this newspaper, which played a prominent role in the fall of the constitutional government in 1964, due to the articles “Basta” (“Enough) and “Fora” (“Get Out”).

Soon after the military came to power, Correio da Manhã began to criticize the regime. In January 1969, Niomar Muniz Sodré Bittencourt’s political rights were suspended by Institutional Act 5 (AI-5) and she was arrested together with Correio da Manhã journalists and directors Osvaldo Peralva and Nélson Batista. She was submitted to a legal proceeding and absolved in 1970.

She was a member of the Brazilian Press Association and the Union of Professional Journalists of Rio de Janeiro. She represented Brazil at the Venice Biennale and the Brazilian Press Association at the Chapultepec Conference in Mexico City.

On November 26, 1985, she was honored at a lunch at the Rio de Janeiro Modern Art Museum. The event was attended by various public figures, including the then president of the Republic, José Sarney, who said he recognized that the Brazilian government had committed an injustice, politically persecuting Niomar Muniz Sodré Bittencourt and her newspaper during the military regime.

This article is part of a special series called Women’s Archives, which was launched on International Women’s Day.

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