Gustavo Goretti: “Quality journalism has always been under threat”



The great Peruvian journalist, who runs the collective IDL-Reporteros, refers in this interview to the health and threats to his profession and, ultimately, to the events that ended Pedro Castillo’s government in his country.

Good journalism is at risk, he adds, and always has been Gustavo Gorettia 74-year-old Peruvian journalist, director of the Journalists’ Group under the name IDL-ReportersFrom Lima, deals with what is happening in Latin America that is worth telling readers around the world.

In this series of talks that Prensa Ibérica publishes on the occasion of its first anniversary Spain newspaper Other teammates like the Argentine Ricardo Kirschbaum or american Martin BarronHe warned of the fact that the paper press does not die even if it is mortally wounded

In this interview we started doing in Guadalajara, Mexico, which International Book Fair Recounting some of his contributions to investigative journalism in Latin America, he points out the health and threats to his trade and, ultimately, to The events that ended the government of Pedro Castillo in his country.

Goretti runs IDL-Reporteros. He was a co-director of Republic In his deputy director the press Panama, and has such awards as Maria Moors-Cabot and the King of Spain. in carrying out his business He was kidnapped by then-President Fujimori’s henchmen In the context of his self-coup in 1992. His works were highly relevant about the continental scandal lava gateau And crimes bright path. In this case, this investigation in his book became his book. History of the Millennium War in Peru.

By his standards, journalism has always been under threat, but in this crisis as in others, it will be saved by quality.

Q: What are the possibilities for reversing the crisis now?

R was found. Good journalism has always been under threat. Responses to this threat varied with time and circumstances. When the happy pairing of enlightened media owners and filmmakers happened with talented journalists, the results were colossal. from the magazine chlorinated From the end of the nineteenth century until masks (in Lima) in the 1980s that formula always produced unforgettable press. But there was at the same time, at all times, a manipulative, sensationalist, yellow, misleading press. kept? The best journalism has left stories that survive as literature. Other journalism has also been the subject of films or novels (scoopAnd the citizen KenAnd the Conversation in the cathedral)

s. It is interesting to note now, in the world press, how Latin American countries are seen as a common place of great political and economic confusion, but at the same time, there is more interest in the press as a commitment to the state of nations. How does this fact affect the quality of journalism? Or do I have?

R was found. It seems to me that Latin America is now producing very high quality journalism. Meanwhile, other misleading journalism, of poor or terrible quality. In a colossal sense, the second is much greater than the first, but in terms of its influence and power, the first is much more important. There is a third, middle press, which occupies an important place and whose influence is sometimes commendable and sometimes unfortunate.

s. Is the commitment today to the job or to the suffering communities?

R was found. It should always be due to trade. Commerce leads you to recount, not all at once, but with great frequency, the chronicles of communities’ suffering and to do so in such a way that the story tells your admiration, moves it, awakens it, and brings emotions to the surface. A subtle tear, an indignation that will become a cause, an uncorked bottle, which so often makes a change the slippery slopes through which the Latin American of the soul returns, advances, has an accident, and recovers from walking.

Journalism must report the truth of the facts; And the truth has consequences.

Q: What is a journalist today? Eugenio Scalfari, the great Italian journalist, said that “journalists are people who tell people what is happening to people.” You have been in this profession for many years, have done everything, and now you again look like a young man who has been exposed to a mission that was the result of his first calling. Is journalism still an inspiration to you, or is it a priesthood?

R was found. Scalfari was right in the broadest sense: Homer was a journalist and people don’t stop listening to what happened to others two and a half thousand years ago. For me, journalism and literature are basically the same thing. In fact, the great Western novel was born in newspapers and magazines, and great writers (young ones too) were able to survive and create thanks to periodic publication. At the same time, his output aided the explosive growth of the publishing circulation within a few decades and was a remarkable resource of teaching to generations of journalists who might not know their origins but would, when good, practice what their genes required. But there are specific aspects of a journalist’s life that tend to be different from literary life today. Journalism must report the truth of the facts; And the truth has consequences. Of course, the consequences are very different in the cases of, for example, gastronomic and investigative journalism. In the latter, and in other forms of journalism as well, disclosure can be dangerous. Very dangerous sometimes. If a person has taken one or several great risks over the years and has not given up on the trade, it is because they made the decision at a certain moment and crossed the river knowing that there was no going back and that it was the same for one or a thousand. ; And though, near the end, one might think that the best triumphs were ephemeral, he also believed that few things in life were worth as much effort as those stories, and that sometimes they could make them so ephemeral.

Q: Are there teachers you teach? Or are you now the teacher? What is the education you most cherish, received or explained to the students you have?

R was found. The teachers I had tolerated no treatment other than a familiar name. And with a few exceptions, they did not consider themselves teachers. From Enrique Zileri, the great director of masks I learned almost everything I know about journalism. He taught week after week, edition after edition, with the utmost workmanship and the creative alchemy of the very tired; A person who lives in the SS and in certain forms of bohemianism. Howard Simmons also left a permanent mark. He combined his protective presence with the greatest order; And look sarcastically torn at times. He lived journalism as a fidelity to the truth (linked with a great sense of humour) that excused nothing but to do his best. He protected talents and did not tolerate mediocrity. Both of them, each in their own way, were endowed with great courage and ingenuity. Like I said, I learned from his example. If I have something to teach, I try to do it the same way.

Q: What values ​​must a journalist have today in order to make his education credible?

R was found. usual. Whether written by hand or composed on a supercomputer, the values ​​are the same: relate, with wit, originality, and accuracy, the truth of the facts.

P. Gabo wanted to found a newspaper called One, To go to a booth and ask for one, as if it were unique. Now we’re about to have just one newspaper, or we’re about to have none at all. Do you see with sadness, or naturally, Gabo’s desire to present a paper newspaper as if it were a relic or should we forget this passion and this nostalgia?

R was found. I remember with some nostalgia the typewriters choir of the last days. It was the voice of thought. But I also remember my first experiences with word processors and personal computers. They were very rustic but what they served seemed like magic. It was magic. We live it now every day, every hour. Our publications no longer need paper and reach the whole world in an instant. My nostalgia as I live with magic, its miracles made red tape and its new dangers. I do not change them for the sake of the past. In the light spot where he is, Gabo wakes up, turns on the screen and sees an endless stall of prints. You know what to choose. He wants to go out later to read a book under the shade of a tree. Get an e-reader that weighs a little more than a pen, fits in your pocket, and has entire libraries of thousands of “always open” books. He begins to walk, puts two ice cubes in the glass and smiles, remembering Don Aureliano’s expression when he first showed him the Magic Library.

Q: What was the passion in life that led you to become a journalist and want to continue to be one now that you’re a veteran?

R was found. I became a journalist because I wanted to be a writer. “Live to be told” stories like this one have captured my imagination and dreams since early childhood in the solitude of the countryside. I couldn’t do that before I was 30. I burned ships and set out on the path of my message. The only way to live devoted to writing was through journalism. I was lucky to meet Enrique Zileri, who probably saw some hope in the farmer and judoka who came to his office looking for a job. Peru was 1981, in full swing. Forty years later, the stories continue to ferment and challenge. And I’m still learning to write.

The fact that the global strategy behind the protests is recognizable. But from there to deeming the people’s discontent to be the product of a great conspiracy, there is a space between perception and nonsense.”

Q: Let’s talk about Peru now. How do you think the press has told or is telling this story about Castillo’s impeachment in particular?

R was found. The corporate and cartel press enjoys the kind of coverage that would elicit a shade of blush (and disdain) from Citizen Kane. That journalism was an essential part of the passive coalition dedicated to the demolition of former President Castillo (and the selective blindness to everything else that needed to be investigated and exposed). After Castillo’s self-destruction, they did not at all understand that an important part of the people’s discontent, especially in the provinces, was a reaction to what they saw as the execution of Castillo, centrally, by that press. In this way, they turned Castillo into a victim and managed to ignore their real issues of corruption amid the sea of ​​protests. Now they seek to present these protests as the result of a major conspiracy involving organizations associated with Sendero Luminoso. The fact that the global strategy is felt and has specific goals behind the protests. But from here to consider that people’s anger and indignation are the product of a great conspiracy, there is a vast space that mediates between realization and nonsense.

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Q: From Goretti’s point of view as a citizen, what is his mental state in relation to this crisis?

R was found. That this country has been affected by all misfortunes and many misfortunes. Until we can establish a democracy based on Enlightenment values, that includes, tolerates, teaches, protects and transforms all the blood that makes up our nation into a sense of pride, fulfilled promise and true equality of opportunity, we will be condemned to corrupt pendulums, corruption, scandal and demagogues, in a nation that will rub us again and again, With her beauty, potential, and greatness, if she had leaders and commanders capable of deserving her.

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