A Look at Journalist Augusto Minzolini
The life and personal history of Augusto Minzolini have become of a certain interest in recent years, as well as rather controversial. As any journalist, Minzolini has friends as well as enemies, many of whom have to do with politics, a common theme in the modern world, and definitely in Italy.
Minzolini began his career as a highly regarded journalist, working with some of the best papers and editors. Indeed, no less than the newspaper La Stampa gave him his first big break. As a journalist, Minzolini became famous and credible quite rapidly, thanks to his "incursions" into Italian political life. He reported without fear or reverence, writing about what he discovered openly, to give the general public access to the truth. Getting a scoop is usually the number one goal of any reporter, but in the case of Minzolini finding a scoop seemed to be a real mission, a must that, in certain ways, characterized his entire writing career.
Looking back, one can easily see some of the most important revelations in recent Italian history have been the result of his reporting. The results of Minzolini's exposés included serious changes in the Italian political landscape, at times not without a certain embarrassment of those involved. Minzolini's success created a strong interest on his person, and both political sides began to try to gain his favors. When this proved more difficult to achieve than planned, many then attempted to discredit or disregard his opinions, trying to get the public to see Minzolini as less than a credible source. Instead of hurting the journalist, these attacks seemed to help elevate his profile dramatically, and major newspapers continued to seek him out. He also increased his television appearances. In almost no time, Minzolini had gone from investigative reporter to true public figure.
A few years back, Minzolini's election to editor in chief of Tg1, Italy's prime network newscast, caused quite a stir. The RAI public network's system is more about electing and appointing, through an internal vote by the board of directors, rather than outright hiring. The choice of Minzolini caused a fraction within the board, Italy's political system and, eventually, the public. After becoming Tg1's director, Minzolini ended up more and more often in the eye of the storm. Many sources portrayed Minzolini as a man protected by the government at the time, who chose to "filter" the news to their benefit. It was a very serious charge, especially coming from certain news outlets that have spent the better part of the last decade providing some pretty biased coverage themselves.
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Worse for Minzolini, his Tg1 broadcasts started loosing audience, mainly due to increased competition from Tg5 (run by Tg1's former editor) and Enrico Mentana's new Tg7.
Unfortunately, the situation Minzolini found himself in is no longer that uncommon. More and more often, national news are biased, influenced by whichever political party has more grab on the channel they are broadcasted. It is, indeed, a sorry state of things, especially-and as usual- for the Italian public: instead of objective, true to facts reports, the people of Italy have been forced, now for years, to slalom among politically inclined depictions of world and national's events, often without even having the opportunity to truly get to know where the truth is.
In 2013 he was elected Senator with Il Popolo della Libertà Party, lead by Silvio Berlusconi. In April 2017 Minzolini resigned from his Senator position, after he was found guilty of embezzlement while he was director at Tg1.
Thankfully, the spread of the internet and the easiness to read and understand the news in other languages has given Italians the opportunity to obtain a less politically influenced view on the facts of their country and to create a more personal, better informed vision of things.