Miserable jackals

by Lorenzo Piccoli


There was a time when being a journalist was an attractive idea. As a kid, I admired people like Tiziano Terzani or Indro Montanelli, who were able to read through a complex reality and explain it. Things changed over time, as the profession lost much of its appeal. I explain this largely, although not exclusively, through the spread of the internet and a new class of under-trained professionals who are forced to produce enormous amounts of articles just to survive. In a world where the majority of people want consume short, superficial products that last for one day or two, in-depth analyses are rare.

We must, however, recognise that the quality of journalism in Italy remains relatively high when compared to other countries. I am writing two days after the attack at the Christmas market in Berlin, at a time when we don’t yet know who committed the attack and why. Yet, the image below represents how some of the most read newspapers in the United Kingdom are reporting on the issue.

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Other newspapers (Die Welt, Il Post, The Guardian) were reporting with much more sober titles, in the line of: ‘German police might have the wrong man’. Which was and still is the only fact we knew.

It is hard to say why journalists at the Daily Mail, the Sun, and other newspapers lie so blatantly. I imagine most of them serve a political agenda; others do it out of sheer ignorance. Either way, this is repulsive and a dangerous indicator of an ignominiously low quality of public debate in the country. Be wary of journalists who cannot do their job, be wary of living in a country where the two mostly read newspaper run a daily shitshow speculating on the lives of people.

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