José Rodrigues dos Santos
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|José Rodrigues dos Santos|
José Rodrigues dos Santos, in 2016.
1 April 1964|
Beira, Overseas Province of Mozambique, Portugal
|Occupation||journalist, university lecturer and novelist|
|Genre||Novel, historical fiction|
|Notable works||A Fórmula de Deus, Fúria Divina|
José António Afonso Rodrigues dos Santos (born 1 April 1964) is a Portuguese writer, university lecturer and journalist. He has presented Telejornal (the evening news program on the Portuguese public television channel RTP1) since 1991.
Life and career
He was born in the city of Beira, Overseas Province of Mozambique, a Portuguese territory at that time, and lived most of his childhood in Tete, Overseas Province of Mozambique. He is the eldest of two sons of Medical Doctor José da Paz Brandão Rodrigues dos Santos (Penafiel, 13 October 1930 – January 1986) and wife Maria Manuela de Campos Afonso Matos. His brother is João Nuno, born in Tete, Mozambique, on 6 April 1969 and married to Ana Mafalda Quirino de Matos Vilarigues, by whom he has three children Mariana, Afonso da Paz and Nuno da Paz Vilarigues Rodrigues dos Santos. Dos Santos lived in Portugal after the events that led to the independence of Mozambique in 1975 and the eruption of the Mozambican Civil War in 1977. Firstly the family fled to Lisbon, then after the divorce of his parents, he lived with his mother. As a result of his mother's financial difficulties, he was raised by his father in Penafiel, and then Macau, then a Portuguese territory. José Rodrigues dos Santos went back to Lisbon in 1983 to study at the New University of Lisbon.
In 1988 he married his wife Florbela Cardoso, daughter of Dulce Cardoso and an unknown father, with whom he has two daughters, Catarina and Inês Cardoso Rodrigues dos Santos.
Formerly a reporter for the BBC, he has covered more than a dozen wars, teaches journalism at the New University of Lisbon, and anchors the Telejornal of Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP), of which he became the Director of Programs. He has also won many awards, including the Golden Globes.
José Rodrigues dos Santos publicly announced he does not vote, “to remain independent” (1. http://perfildojornalista.eusou.com/pt/entrevista.asp?id=1878&mid=277), but nevertheless he became involved in several controversies. The first was in 2004 with the center-right government of PSD/CDS. He was then the Head of News for RTP and minister Morais Sarmento accused him of behaving as if he was totally independent and said RTP’s independence “must have limits”. (2. http://www.tvi24.iol.pt/sic/tvi/morais-sarmento-considera-que-independencia-da-rtp-tem-que-ter-limites) Two weeks later, the government-appointed RTP Board selected the 4th placed in an internal process to choose the new RTP correspondent in Madrid. José resigned as Head of News, alleging “interference in the editorial process”. The official media watchdog, AACS, inquired the affair and concluded there had been indeed “illegitimate interference”. (3. http://www.jornalistas.eu/?n=2772) In 2007, José repeated the same accusation and the RTP Board tried to fire him. An internal enquiry concluded there were no legal grounds for such an action. (4. https://www.publico.pt/media/noticia/rtp-quer-despedir-jose-rodrigues-dos-santos-por-justa-causa-1310551) In 2009, José published a novel, The Last Secret, where he explained discoveries by historians that contradicted the Church’s portrayal of Jesus Christ. The Portuguese Church accused him of “intolerance”. He responded, stressing that the Church “did not deny any of the facts” presented in the book. (5. https://www.publico.pt/sociedade/noticia/igreja-catolica-arrasa-o-ultimo-romance-de-jose-rodrigues-dos-santos-1518107) On March, 2014, José Rodrigues dos Santos was criticized by Socialists for confronting José Sócrates. The Socialist politician had introduced austerity in Portugal in 2010 when he was prime-minister and criticized austerity when he went to the opposition, a contradiction José chose not to ignore. (6. http://www.dn.pt/politica/interior/socrates-irritase-nao-vinha-preparado-para-isto-3774270.html) Sócrates was later arrested on corruption and tax-fraud charges. (7. http://www.dn.pt/portugal/interior/socrates-preso-por-suspeitas-de-fraude-fiscal-branqueamento-de-capitais-e-corrupcao-4254918.html) On January 24, 2015, José reported from Athens on the internal causes of the Greek crisis, and pointed to four factors: big corruption (the example he gave was the luxury house of the Defense minister arrested over the submarines affair), petty corruption (the subsidies given to “many Greeks” who had bribed doctors to get an illegitimate paralysis declaration that entitled them to subsidies), an over-generous Social State (the “holidays for all” program) and massive tax evasion (the swimming pools scheme). (8. https://www.youtube./watch?v=Rojzt2Ssrzk) A left-wing MP, José Manuel Pureza, accused him of generalizations for saying “Greeks” pretended they were paralytic to get subsidies. (9. http://www.cmjornal.xl.pt/tv_media/detalhe/rodrigues_dos_santos_criticado.html) José responded, saying he had not said “all”, but “many”, and insisting that “many Greeks” indeed bribed doctors to get subsidies they were not entitled to, claiming this had been ascertained by the Greek government and by Transparency International, an anti-corruption NGO. (10. http://ionline.sapo.pt/263203) Two enquiries, by the Viewers Ombudsman and by the official media watchdog ERC, found no grounds in the accusations. (11. http://www.cmjornal.xl.pt/tv_media/detalhe/provedor_da_razao_a_rodrigues_dos_santos.html) On October 7, 2015, the journalist was accused by the Socialist Party of making a homophobic comment as he switched the masculine form "eleito" to the feminine "eleita" when introducing a news story about the oldest MP elected to the new parliament. Rodrigues dos Santos said the reporter informed him that the oldest MP in the new parliament was a woman MP of 69, when in fact it was a gay MP of 70, and apologized for mistaking the MP’s identity but refused to apologize for homophobia, claiming a mistake is not a homophobic act. The RTP Head of News publicly apologized to the gay MP. (12. http://www.jn.pt/nacional/media/interior/rodrigues-dos-santos-para-corrigir-um-erro-cometi-um-erro-4822998.html) Three enquires by independent bodies concluded it was an involuntary mistake. (13. http://www.tvi24.iol.pt/media/carteira-profissional-de-jornalista/carteira-considera-erro-involuntario-declaracoes-de-jose-rodrigues-dos-santos) (14. http://expresso.sapo.pt/sociedade/2016-01-20-Jose-Rodrigues-dos-Santos-ilibado-no-caso-eleito-ou-eleita) (15. http://www.cmjornal.xl.pt/tv_media/detalhe/cdsj_considera_um_lapso_erro_de_jose_rodrigues_dos_santos.html) On May 2, 2016, the journalist was criticized by Socialist MP João Galamba after saying that part of Portugal's public debt was 'hidden' from view. The Socialist MP argued the practice was not illegal. José responded, saying he never said it was illegal – he just stated a fact, and asked if journalists are only allowed to report what politicians wanted them to report.
- Comunicação, Difusão Cultural, 1992; Prefácio, 2001
- Crónicas de Guerra - Vol. I - Da Crimeia a Dachau, Gradiva, 2001; Círculo de Leitores, 2002
- Crónicas de Guerra - Vol. II - De Saigão a Bagdade, Gradiva, 2002; Círculo de Leitores, 2002
- A Verdade da Guerra, Gradiva, 2002; Círculo de Leitores, 2003
- A Ilha das Trevas, Temas & Debates, 2002; Prefácio e Círculo de Leitores, 2003; Gradiva, 2007
- A Filha do Capitão, Gradiva, 2004
- O Codex 632: The Secret of Christopher Columbus: A Novel, Gradiva, 2005 [Tomás Noronha series, #1]
- The Einstein Enigma: A Novel, Gradiva, 2006 [Tomás Noronha series, #2]
- O Sétimo Selo, Gradiva, 2007 [Tomás Noronha series, #3]
- A Vida Num Sopro, Gradiva, 2008
- Fúria Divina, Gradiva, 2009 [Tomás Noronha series, #4]
- O Anjo Branco, Gradiva, 2010
- O Último Segredo, Gradiva, 2011 [Tomás Noronha series, #5]
- A Mão do Diabo, Gradiva, 2012 [Tomás Noronha series, #6]
- O Homem de Constantinopla, Gradiva, 2013
- Um Milionário em Lisboa, Gradiva, 2013
- A Chave de Salomão, Gradiva, 2014 [Tomás Noronha series, #7]
- As Flores de Lótus, Gradiva, 2015
- O Pavilhão Púrpura, Gradiva, (launch in 2016)
- Raízes e Memórias, Instituto Português de Genealogia, Lisboa, nr. 14, p. 46