“The sovereignty of the region and its wealth is what really is at stake” Amazon fires in Jair Bolsonaro’s discourse on Twitter
This article analyzes how the event reported by the media as the “Day of Fire”, as it becomes a media event, in a context of deep mediatization, is discussed by Jair Bolsonaro in his official Twitter account. It is understood that the discussion of this media event is part of a dispute of symbolic and persuasive power, transcending the media vehicles and conflicting with other sources of information, lived experiences, and interests of specific social groups, influencing the construction of a mobilizing narrative, which guides Bolsonaro's discursive practice in the public opinion dispute. To this end, a thematic content analysis was applied to publications gathered from the account @jairbolsonaro between July 4th and September 16th, 2019. Next, two different discourse archetypes were constructed – one using elements of risk communication and the other using elements of populist communication – in order to understand and identify the characteristics and patterns of proximity among the tweets. Based on these two communication models and the political-social context surrounding this media event, we use Critical Discourse Analysis to interpret how Bolsonaro’s discourse relates to the Brazilian socioenvironmental crisis here remarked. At last, we arrived at the conclusion that the discourse mediated through Bolsonaro's Twitter focuses on four main aspects: 1) it is reactive to the transformation of the socioenvironmental event “Day of Fire” into a media event; 2) it employs, as a strategy for the resumption of the public debate, a populist construction of two antagonistic political camps; 3) it seeks the silencing of non-capitalist ways of relating to the environment; and 4) it reveals a neoliberal populist discourse, which neglects a communication aimed at the prevention and mitigation of the existing risk.