Wednesday, July 6

Guillermo Busutil, National Prize for Cultural Journalism: “I have no contract”

The journalist and writer Guillermo Busutil, a 60-year-old from Granada and a resident of Malaga, has been recognized by the Ministry of Culture with the 2021 National Prize for Cultural Journalism, endowed with 20,000 euros. For the jury, the winner is a “high-quality all-round professional”. They recognize in their trajectory of more than four decades the cultivation “with success” of disciplines as varied as literature, plastic arts and cinema. “His articles are characterized by an elegant, dense and precise prose”, the wise men have added about the author of the essay. The culture, dear Robinson. In addition, they rightly point out that Guillermo Busutil has made “a substantial contribution to the reflection on cultural journalism in Spain.”

In other words, we are facing one of the most qualified workers in this journalistic discipline, which perfectly represents the state of the sector itself that he has written about all his life and for which he has produced until last March 2020, when the management of Malaga Opinion He informed her that he was dispensing with his services, after 17 years. Before it happened with the literary magazine Mercury, from the José Manuel Lara Foundation, which he directed for 12 years until the head closed in 2019. A qualified worker without a contract is the soundtrack of Spain, 2021. The precariousness of the cultural industries and their creators is also that of those who they tell and spread: “I don’t have a contract, I am the typical profile of a current cultural journalist. I live in independence and precariousness,” says Busutil, with a cheerful and skeptical spirit.

He does not know if this award is a paradox or a symptom, but he is happy and excited when Minister José Manuel Rodríguez-Uribes called him to inform him of the jury’s decision. Busutil does not lose his breath or the desire to work, nor has he stopped being critical when he thought he should be. That, he says, has also taken its toll. Very expensive. “I have had a long distance race, with ups and downs. If I had been less critical and more ball I would have gone much further,” he says. And when he says “go far” he refers to having a fair and deserved salary, with which to continue working after all those years and baggage.

So he dedicates his award “to all journalists and journalists who work in the periphery.” Because although the job in the cultural sections seems difficult in large urban centers, it is not so difficult: “If you dare to criticize the programming of a museum, a theater or any institution, you go to the black list. If that happens you put Your salary is at risk. That is why we have rude the institutions in anything goes, because the journalist has lost the courage of independence a long time ago. If you play to preserve your salary, you become a newspaper official. But if you want to be Manuel Chaves Nogales must be consistent, independent and frowned upon by politicians on both sides. A kind of nihilist who is passionate about your work, “says Busutil.

He likes to talk about these things about the journalist’s commitment. He believes that the first thing is to commit to his ethical ideology, then to cultural manifestations. “You must question everything, always,” summarizes Busutil. In the minister’s call, he has taken the opportunity to remind him that Malaga has a stumbling block with the skyscraper in the shape of a giant “dildo”, which the port authority and the City Council want to plant in the middle of the historic bay, despite the neighborhood rejection. Busutil is one of the platform’s active agents who are fighting to stop this new urban scandal against heritage. It also explains, and underlines, that to commit to the trade is to refuse to work for free. Never. “The function of the culture journalist is to evaluate with knowledge about what he reports, with rigor and stylistic ambition. That has a price,” he adds. We take advantage of your journey through as many newsrooms as disciplines, so that you complete the sentence: “Cultural journalism today is more …… than 20 years ago.” Answer “necessary”. Because “20 years ago culture was more valued”, and he says goodbye until next time.