Patrícia Campos Mello is a reporter at large and columnist at Folha de São Paulo newspaper. For over 25 years, she has covered international relations, economics and human rights, and has reported from over 50 countries. She has been awarded the Maria Moors Cabot Prize in 2020, International Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in 2019; the Vladimir Herzog Special Award for Democracy and Justice in 2019, the International Committee of the Red Cross Prize for humanitarian journalism in 2017, the King of Spain Journalism Prize in 2018, Petrobras Prize (in both 2018 and 2017), Folha and Estado Prizes.
She recently published the book "A máquina do ódio - notas de uma repórter sobre fake news e violência digital" (Companhia das Letras), about disinformation campaigns by populist leaders in Brazil, India and the United States, the intimidation of journalists, and the erosion of freedom of the press in Brazil. She is widely acclaimed for her reporting on the illegal use of WhatsApp mass messaging to send fake news and propaganda to manipulate public opinion during the Brazilian electoral campaign in 2018, which led the Judicial system to change electoral regulations and ban, in 2019, mass messaging through WhatsApp. Her recent work covers the COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil, reporting from public hospitals and shelters for homeless populations.
Patrícia was the Washington correspondent for the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper between 2006 and 2010. She covered the economic crisis in the USA, and the 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections; the war in Afghanistan in 2009, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York in 2001. She has reported on refugees and migration from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Turkey. Lebanon and Kenya. In 2017, she published her book Lua de Mel em Kobane (Honeymoon in Kobane) with Companhia das Letras, in which she tells the story of the war against Islamic State in Syria through the eyes of a refugee couple that she met there. She was the only Brazilian reporter to cover the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, in 2014 and 2015.
Patrícia has a degree in Journalism from the University of São Paulo (USP) and a Master’s in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University, where she received a university scholarship. She is the mother of Manuel, who is 8 years old.