Editor Speaking #2 Alberto Brandi: The journalist today must be the guarantor of truth
Maria Pia Beltran - AIPS Media
MILAN, August 28, 2019 - Alberto Brandi is one of the iconic sport TV presenters in Italy: as Director of Sport Mediaset since October 2018 he can give insight into how it feels to inform the passionate and demanding Italian sport fans.
When did you start and why did you choose this career?
I began to get interested in journalism in the mid-eighties. I worked for a local newspaper where I followed a little bit of everything: from sport to politics, from shows to news. At the same time I worked with some private radio stations until, in January 1992, I entered the magical world of television. Since that time I have not moved from Mediaset. Why did I choose this profession? Because I've always liked being up to date on everything and I couldn't wait to help inform others through my work. It takes passion, curiosity and intuition. Competence is not enough.
What has been your greatest satisfaction over the years?
There have been so many during these 27 years at Mediaset. If I had to choose one, I would have no doubt: having organized, together with my team, the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 last year. It was a great success, despite Italy’s absence, in terms of audience and positive criticism. Then came the 10 editions as conductor of ‘Guida al Campionato’ (Guide to the Championship), at lunchtime on Sundays on Italia1 (one of Mediaset channels): I carry in my heart all those who have accompanied me. Especially a person who is no longer with us: Maurizio Mosca.
And the character that impressed you the most, if you have one?
It’s difficult to choose. Sport gives beautiful stories every day. Of glory, but also of failure. Marco Pantani's achievements, for example, have excited me a lot. Announcing his death on February 14, 15 years ago was one of the most difficult moments of my career. And then there’s Valentino Rossi, Alberto Tomba, Federica Pellegrini. The list is endless.
Do you have any anecdotes from your career?
I could write a book of anecdotes. Our profession lends itself to them. Certainly the invasion of a hundred Milan fans in an episode of Controcampo a dozen years ago was unforgettable. We were live and while I was talking I could hear their screaming chants in the distance as they approached the studio. They had passed the gates and no one had managed to stop the advance. My first thought was for the safety of the guests, among others Sacchi, Mughini and Cambiasso. Fortunately, everything was resolved in the best way. We sent an advertising band and we convinced the ultras, who complained about the lack of tickets for Juventus-Milan, to leave the stage. Everything went well, but what fear!
What do you like the most about sports journalism?
As a child, as a boy, I was passionate about sports, so helping to tell people about it is achieving a goal. It doesn't happen to many, the chance to combine passion and work. This is why I consider myself lucky. I believe that the profession of sports journalist is so profound, that those who practice it could easily take care of other sectors as well. While it is more difficult, for example, for a political journalist to deal with sporting events.
What are the main issues that the sports media profession needs to tackle?
In Italy, as in other countries, football is a religion. The biggest problem we face is the exaggerated parochialism that distinguishes the Italian football fan. To improve the sporting culture of the reader, of the viewer, of the listener of our country it will take generations.
What’s the most difficult coverage/article you’ve have to do?
In these years the most difficult moment to manage has been ‘The Calciopoli Period’. The sport was mixed with justice and the war was between Juventus and Inter more than between lawyers and guarantors. We had to be careful to measure our words and to analyze facts and sentences with precision.
What lessons did you learn (and from whom) that are worth sharing?
I am convinced that there is always something to learn. Before becoming director I tried to absorb the secrets of the profession from those who made me grow. And I don't just mean my previous directors. I also learned from fellow editors who knew how to do something I wasn't able to do.
The profession is constantly changing. What is the situation now?
Our work is evolving. We are no longer the masters of the news. Today with social media and rapid sharing tools, everyone around the world can spread the news. Our job is to not fall into the trap of fake news. Here, the journalist today must be the guarantor of truth and develop his capacity for analysis and commentary that ordinary people do not have.
What do you think about the AIPS Sport Media Award?
Evaluating the quality of our job is fundamental in this period. Giving importance to sports media excellence is a mission that must be constantly promoted.
How can an award help future generations of journalists?
It can help in giving them more consciousness about their social role. As I said before we have to keep on studying and improving to be the best guarantors of truth for our audience.
Editor Speaking is presented by AIPS Sport Media Awards, a bridge to the future of sport journalism. Across 8 main categories, the Awards are a celebration of the best sport storytellers from around the world. Submissions for professionals are free and open until October 7, 2019. Find more and submit your work in www.aipsawards.com.