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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


NJAINE, Kathie; SOUZA, Edinilsa Ramos de; MINAYO, Maria Cecília de Souza  and  ASSIS, Simone Gonçalves de. Production of (mis)information on violence: analysis of a discriminatory practice. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1997, vol.13, n.3, pp.405-414. ISSN 1678-4464.

We propose a critical reflection on quality of information concerning violence in Brazil, emphasizing some of the main sources of primary data: Public Law Enforcement Departments, Police, and Municipal and State Secretaries of Health. The city of Rio de Janeiro is taken as a typical "case" in this analysis. The hypotheses are: (a) in the process of producing this information, its generation, systematization, and dissemination are poor quality, thus becoming banal and revealing their discriminatory bias; (b) data are treated as private tools and not as a public service, thus reflecting an authoritarian and bureaucratic institutional structure. They themselves become a form of (mis)information, void of any valid social or political meaning and insufficient to inform society about the real expression of violence and to aid in formulating effective public policies. Conclusions are as follows: 1) that information on violent events be valued from the time it is recorded until it is put to social use: 2) that professionals and institutions dealing with the issue transform structures and ideas with a view towards an integrated and conscious fulfillment of their social roles; and 3) that society organize and work collectively against violence, bolstering the value of human life.

Keywords : Information; Violence; Public Health; Quality of Registries.

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