Marco Travaglio

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Marco Travaglio
40-ish man with grey hairs, talking on a microphone.
Marco Travaglio in Trento, 2010.
Born Marco Travaglio
(1964-10-13) 13 October 1964 (age 49)
Turin, Italy
Years active 1988 – present

Marco Travaglio (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmarko traˈvaʎʎo]; born 13 October 1964) is an Italian investigative journalist, writer and opinion leader. Perry Anderson has called him 'arguably Europe’s greatest journalist.'[1]

Biography[edit]

Travaglio was born in Turin and earned a degree in history from the University of Turin. In 1992 he began to pursue journalism as a career. He started out writing for Catholic publications such as Il nostro tempo ("Our time"), then worked under the renowned journalist Indro Montanelli for newspapers such as Il Giornale and La Voce and gained the attention of Montanelli himself who once said of him: "No, Travaglio does not kill anyone. With a knife. He uses a more refined and not legally punishable weapon: the archives."

Since 14 September 2006, Marco Travaglio has been a regular guest in the TV program AnnoZero, hosted by Michele Santoro (also mentioned by Berlusconi in the so-called Bulgarian Edict).

Recently, Travaglio has contributed as a columnist to prominent national newspapers and magazines, such as La Repubblica, L'Unità (hosting columns such as "Bananas", "Uliwood Party" and "Zorro") and Micromega. He still contributes to L'espresso writing a column by the name "Signornò'". In September 2009 he contributed to the founding of the independent newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano ("The Daily Fact").

Political and judicial events of national importance, from Mani pulite to the troubles of controversial political figure Silvio Berlusconi, have been Travaglio's main area of interest.

The journalist gained public attention in 2001, after participating in a TV show on state-owned national channel Raidue called Satyricon and hosted by Daniele Luttazzi. He then introduced a his bestseller book L'odore dei soldi ("The Scent of Money", co-authored by Elio Veltri), which investigates the origin of Mr Berlusconi's early fortunes. Berlusconi filed a lawsuit for slander, but since the information was accurate and well documented, he was condemned to pay the legal expenses.[2]

The show, aired during the campaign for the Italian general election, was heavily criticized by Berlusconi and his party and labeled by them as a politically motivated, non-objective personal attack. After Mr Berlusconi's victory at the elections, Berlusconi banned Luttazzi (together with Enzo Biagi and Michele Santoro, prominent journalists that had criticized Mr Berlusconi's or investigated his history) from state-owned TV shows (Editto Bulgaro), causing a long debate about freedom of information and censorship in Italy.

On 10 May 2008, Marco Travaglio commented on Renato Schifani's election as president of the Senate that one should "simply ask of the second highest office of the state to explain those relationships with those men who have subsequently been condemned for association with the Mafia" on the RAI current affairs talk show television program Che tempo che fa.[3][4][5]

The statement of Travaglio resulted in fierce negative reactions from Italian politicians, including from the centre left, except for Antonio Di Pietro who said that Travaglio was "merely doing his job". Some called for chief executives at RAI to be dismissed.

The political commentator (and future leader) Beppe Grillo supported Travaglio, while Schifani announced he would go to Court and sue Travaglio for slander.[6] Schifani said Travaglio's accusation was based on "inconsistent or manipulated facts, not even worthy of generating suspicions", adding that "someone wants to undermine the dialogue between the government and the opposition."[5]

In 2009, the German Association of Journalists assigned Travaglio its annual award for Freedom of the Press, describing him as a "brave and critical colleague [...] exposing continually the attempts of Italian politicians, especially Silvio Berlusconi, to influence the media to their advantage and to negate critical reports."[7]

Travaglio is a Roman Catholic.[8][9]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • "International Press Freedom" (Pressefreiheit Preis, 2009)
  • "Premiolino" (2010)

Publications[edit]

Books by Marco Travaglio (usually co-authored with other investigative journalists) include:

  • Bravi ragazzi (Italian for Good fellas), published in 2003 and reporting on politicians Cesare Previti and Silvio Berlusconi's alleged (and later confirmed by court's sentence [10]) corruption of judges
  • Lo chiamavano Impunità ("They Call Him Impunity", a humorous reference to the spaghetti western Lo chiamavano Trinità), published in 2003, about the SME-Ariosto inquiry and court trial
  • Mani Sporche (Italian for "Dirty Hands") that reports about the years following the national scandal "Mani pulite" (Italian for "Clean Hands")
  • Il Bavaglio ("The Gag") mostly about the Italian politicians' plans to limit freedom of speech and the investigative means of Italian Prosecutors investigating political corruption
  • Per chi suona la banana ("For Whom the Banana Tolls"; the title is a pun on For Whom the Bell Tolls, with a reference on the banana republic)
  • Italia Anno Zero, Chiarelettere, 2009, ISBN 978-88-6190-051-6 (coauthors: Beatrice Borromeo and Vauro Senesi)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perry Anderson, 'The Italian Disaster,' London Review of Books, Vol. 36 No. 10, 22 May 2014 pp 3-16
  2. ^ (Italian) Court sentence
  3. ^ (Italian) «Schifani diffamato da Travaglio», Corriere della Sera, 11 May 2008
  4. ^ (Italian) Fazio chiede scusa in Tv a Schifani, La Repubblica, 11 May 2008
  5. ^ a b Compromised by compromise, blog by John Hooper (The Guardian), 13 May 2008
  6. ^ (Italian) Caso Travaglio, Schifani querela, Corriere della Sera, 12 May 2008
  7. ^ DJV prize for Marco Travaglio, press release of the German Association of Journalists (DJV).
  8. ^ "Beyond Berlusconi – Red Pepper". Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Io cattolico anticomunista. Altro che «tipo sinistro»" (in Italian). Il Giornale. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  10. ^ (Italian) Condanna definitiva, Previti a Rebibbia, Il Sole 24 Ore, 5 May 2006

External links[edit]


Media offices
Preceded by
Journalist for Il Giornale
1988–1994
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Journalist for La Voce
1994–1995
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Journalist for La Repubblica
1998–2001
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Journalist for L'Unità
2002–2009
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Journalist for Il Fatto Quotidiano
Since 2009
Succeeded by