Putting accent on diversity

Cabler bucks trend to feature regional accents

RIO DE JANEIRO — Educational channel Futura has introduced hosts with different regional accents, breaking away from the standard accent of national TV.

Broadcast networks and feevees traditionally use actors and speakers with a standard accent, which mixes the way natives of Rio and Sao Paulo speak Portuguese.

In February, when Futura premieres its 2004 programming, all the feevee’s shows with more than one on-air personality will have someone with a regional accent.

“Highlighting regional accents has always been a concern of Futura, but it is now an institutional policy,” Lucia Araujo, the feevee’s general director, says. “The idea is to treasure the diversity.”

Futura is a channel of the Roberto Marinho Foundation (the Marinho family controls media conglom Organizaoes Globo) and has 15 private sponsors, including CNN/Turner.

It is distributed via cable and satellite and is available in 10,000 schools, child-care and community centers, and inmate facilities, where it is used for educational purposes.

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