In this first episode of The Journalist’s Craft series, the EURONEWS project’s team meets Alberto Negri, war correspondent for the Italian newspaper “Il Sole 24 Ore”. In this hour-long interview, Negri recounts the story of his life as a war correspondent as a constant dialogue between past and present. His relationship with his father, a journalist at the first Italian press agency Stefani, and the influence of the family environment on his vocation as a journalist are elaborated through a series of personal anecdotes that criss-cross Italian history from the second half of the post-war period onwards.
The history of his professional development involves figures central to Italian journalism, such as Alberto Cavallari, historical director of “Corriere della Sera”, the first journalist to interview a Pope, as well as Ettore Mò and Bernardo Valli, among the most important Italian war correspondents of the Twentieth century.
In the course of the interview, the transformation of the journalistic profession is analysed in light of the technological transformations and changing media landscape of recent years. The relationship between history and memory, as well as the role of testimony, are considered through the recall of episodes experienced at first hand.
The interview then touches on issues related to the journalistic profession: the relationship with the editorial line; the constant tension between reality and its description; the routine of a war reporter and the relationship of the journalist with sources and with power; the connection between war and information; the overbearing propoaganda of autocratic regimes and the less invasive, but equally insidious variety, bred by the consensus machines of western domocracies. Finally, Alberto Negri shares his vision of journalism’s function as the fundamental watchdog of power.
Alberto Negri has been special and war correspondent for “Il Sole 24 Ore” for the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and the Balkans from 1987 to 2017. As a special correspondent, he covered most of the main political and war events of the last 30 years, from the Iran-Iraq war to Afghanistan (1994-2001-2015), from Balkans wars in Sarajevo, Kosovo, Croatia, Serbia, to Baghdad 2003, from Algeria 1991 to Syria 2011-2016, from Tunisia 2011 to Cairo and Tripoli 2015, Turkey for 25 years. In Africa he covered South Africa, Mozambique, Eritrea, Etiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco. In 2007 he won a national prize as war reporter, in 2009 won the international journalist prize “Maria Grazia Cutuli”, in 2015 the prize “Colombe per la pace”. He is author of essays and books. His last book “Il musulmano errante. Storia degli alauiti e dei misteri del Medio Oriente” was awarded with the Capalbio Prize.