The Ruralmeter is an interactive tool, developed by Repórter Brasil, which evaluates the performance of Brazilian federal representatives on issues related to the environment, indigenous peoples, rural workers, and traditional communities. Each congressman receives a grade based on his or her performance.
The project informs how the congressmen voted and which projects with socio-environmental impact they presented in this legislature, in addition to data on environmental and labor fines registered in their names or those of their campaign financers.
Ruralmeter arose from the observation that parliamentary elections receive little attention from the media and voters when compared to the dispute for the presidency. However, Congress is also responsible for the socio-environmental crisis that has led the world to look with concern at the Brazilian Amazon.
The construction of the database is financed by DGB Bildungswerk. This year, however, Ruralômetro will take on a new dimension thanks to support from the Rainforest Journalism Fund.
This additional funding will allow us to go into the field and investigate how politics is present in day-to-day life in the Amazon—the region where most of the votes of environmentally damaging congressmen come from. Who elects these congressmen? What are the desires and needs of these voters? What campaign promises win them over? This will be the subject of a report.
The support of the fund will also allow the realization of a contest for stories inspired by the tool, which will give preference to indigenous journalists or journalists from the interior of the country, with the objective of adding new perspectives to the coverage of the Legislative.