Marco Travaglio: ‘Mr No’ of Italian journalism

117170230 300x237 Marco Travaglio: ‘Mr No’ of Italian journalismAcross the world, if you are a politician and you get routed in two consecutive rounds of elections, you’ve got only yourself to blame – or indeed, the opposition for having done their job properly.

Silvio Berlusconi, on the other hand, held the media responsible when acknowledging his defeat in last month’s local elections. To be precise, he had just a two journalists in mind – one of them Marco Travaglio, who has been Berlusconi’s nightmare for more than a decade.

In September 2009, Travaglio founded a paper free from party political bias (ring a bell?) to better express his views against the Italian establishment. This week, he made a visit in London to take part in the debate entitled ‘Italians are better than their Prime Minister,’ which was organised jointly by London MET and Travaglio’s newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano (‘The Daily fact’).

Travaglio’s journalistic career first kicked off with the help of late Indro Montanelli, former director of Il Giornale, a paper owned by Berlusconi’s family. Montanelli, revered as the father of Italian modern journalism, eventually resigned from Il Giornale in 1994, the year Berlusconi entered politics leaving his entrepreneurial career behind. Despite being a well-know right-winger, Montanelli justified his decision of leaving the paper’s direction by saying that he “did not feel like having the vocation of a servant.”

One of his famous statements well describes both his personality and the political peculiarity of a whole country:  “I’ve worked for eight years with Indro Montanelli and I thought I was a conservative just like him, as he was the embodiment of the right values. Then I got to see what the Italian right really is, and I decided I could never be a right-winger. However, I was never a left-winger and I will never be, as I got to see how the left paved the way to Berlusconi. I’m basically no one, now.”

On Monday, the big name in the Italian independent journalism reminded Italian oppositions to once again stop believing “a lie they are buying for more than 17 years already, as studies show that Berlusconi’s coalition never scored more than 30 per cent out of the total electorate.”

Mr Travaglio is currently touring Italian theatres with his vitriolic show, ‘General Anaesthetic’, in which he stages the contradictions of a country anesthetised by a ‘servant information,’ that never dares to take power into account and is oblivious of its watchdog role. The show had its debut night in Bologna, a left-wing stronghold where last week Travaglio received a rockstar-like hail for one of his ‘editorials,’ targeting both Berlusconi’s coalition government and the feeble opposition parties.

His fierce editorials are also the flagship part of the successful talk-show AnnoZero, broadcasted on Italian state television despite being on Berlusconi’s black list since years.

Michele Santoro, Travaglio’s good friend and show host, is however believed to be leaving public broadcasters RAI soon and migrate to a private-channel competitor because of the increasing political pressures increasing around the program.

“We just do what journalism is all about: we call thieves, thieves and gentlemen, gentlemen. It does look obvious but, believe me, it is not in Italy.”

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  • Mark D

    Nice article. But let’s have a picture of Travaglio himself, instead of the usual

  • Michael L MacKian

    We could do with a guy like this in the UK!

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