I had also planned to publish another article today... but I have decided that tomorrow I will tell you about the most fabulous food and wine pairing ever. Today I want to tell you something about myself and, at the same time, answer the question I have often received since I have been doing this job: why did you choose to be a wine blogger and not become a food and wine journalist? Becoming a journalist... I've been thinking about it! Writing lake views has always been my dream since childhood. Even when I did not know what I would write about, I knew that I would write for a living. Writing really makes me happy.
Journalist or blogger?
There are many ways of writing and I believe there is a lot of ignorance about terminology in all worlds. Bloggers and journalists for one thing are different professions. Of course there are journalists who are also bloggers, but if you read a blog written by a journalist it will always have a different slant and will easily be more oriented towards reporting current events as well. Frankly, I could care less about current events than the result of a football match. I'm not interested in the 'latest news' of a tizio winery, caio consortium or sempronio character. I don't watch television, the only newspaper I read is the Sole 24 ore report, and I don't gossip at my hairdresser's or my beautician's. The journalist, by definition, deals with current affairs, news, investigations... basically his job is to write articles, editorials or reports and publish them in the mass media (TV, newspapers, web). The blogger keeps an online diary, his own space, which can be thematic or generalist, where he writes about the experiences he lives more or less on a daily basis. Obviously in the case of a thematic blog, such as this wine blog, the experiences I tell you about on a daily basis are related to wine and food. Also because I don't think you'd be too interested to know that yesterday I took my jackets to the cleaners... right?
Becoming a journalist: why for me it was a "but also not!"
Let's start with personal taste: I like telling about experiences and, in the same way, I like reading and listening to experiences. So the main reason why I didn't become a journalist is that the so-called 'journalistic slant' is not in my line.
However, this is not the only reason, quite the contrary. I see the world of journalism as a puppet theatre of funny people who somehow besmirch true professionals in order to steal a few crumbs of notoriety or money. Because in both cases they are crumbs. The first case that comes to mind is a person I knew very well who had registered as a journalist to scrounge up a few entries to Vinitaly and a few slices of salami at the previews. Then he told me he had tax and social security advantages, but I can't tell you about that because I have never looked into it. I can certainly confirm that that card made him feel less of a failure in everyday life. Curious though, he didn't write for any newspaper at all and when he had to prove that he really was a journalist he would beg for statements of articles that he would write here or there and they obviously didn't exist.
Now, when I wake up in the morning I am generally in a good mood, but today I have my period so I apologise in advance if this article is a little more polemical than usual. When I read Franco Ziliani's whatsapp where he pointed out to me this article in which the verdict of the Territorial Disciplinary Council of the Order of Journalists is reported, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I swear. For me it is sacrosanct that there is a Disciplinary Council that controls the actions of those who are registered with the order. What is not clear to me is why this Disciplinary Council allows various and sundry pastry-stealers to belong to the register even though all they do is scrounge all they can in exchange for articles they will never write. And how many of them have I met at various events! Then I don't know if it is true that they also manage to obtain tax and social security benefits, the man in question told me so.
Now, if it is true that Franco Ziliani was judged to have used the wrong tone with Laura Donadoni, for me we have three problems that should not be overlooked:
- Was Franco wrong to comment on Laura's thinness? Yes, for me he could have avoided it as I wrote in this article. However, Laura was also wrong for me to say that Franco's behaviour was tantamount to violence against women as I wrote in this other article. So if the Order of Journalists wanted to intervene in my opinion it should have done so with both. Either two yardsticks are being used, or Franco with his sarcasm is now getting on many people's nerves. However, this somewhat forced 'witch-hunt' and perhaps conveyed by something or someone in my opinion damages the image of the BOD.
- Why does the pastry or salami gang continue to scrounge undeterred? Why do they make up the numbers at events and are therefore useful in stock photos? Why do they increase the total number of members and is this perhaps a good thing (I don't know, I guess)? Why doesn't the Disciplinary Committee also regulate card-carrying event moochers?
- If a blog today does not yet have regulatory and legislative constraints and is in fact subject to self-regulation, why can the Order of Journalists intervene following any report on the content of what is not assimilated to a newspaper? And if this is the case, why does the BOD not also intervene on the quality of the content of all registered members? And here I am not talking specifically about Franco Ziliani's inappropriate aesthetic comment or Laura Donadoni's wine superciliousness on their respective blogs, I am asking in general. Why?
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That is why becoming a journalist is something that is not part of my interests: I feel neither part of the pastry gang, nor a fan of current affairs and gossip. Then it has to be said that I don't feel a great need to belong in general, although of course if an order of bloggers exists tomorrow I will probably feel obliged to join it. Above all, I don't conceive the idea of being judged by someone in a way that I find a little too political. So to all those who ask me why I prefer to be 'just' a wine blogger, I will refer back to this article from today.
Becoming a journalist, for those who love this style of writing, is a very fine and accessible thing even without a degree or schooling. Becoming a journalist is a possibility, however, that should only be reserved for those who really want to be in the profession, excluding freeloaders and opportunists of all kinds.
All this reasoning obviously does not disregard the fact that on the web we should always be respectful of everyone and treat every person and every topic with courtesy. The fact that a blog is - at least for the time being - a no man's land does not mean that disrespect must somehow be tolerated. For me, a great signature is the one who manages to engage a wide audience with the quality of the content in terms of both form and substance, without polemics or victimisation.
But then I get it: drama and gossip have always made the audience. Today Beautiful airs its 8,481st episode. If Brooke and Ridge in 34 years of soap opera have married/not married 11 times I expect that the Ziliani-Donadoni liaison won't end there either...