José Martí Gómez was a reporter. In addition to being a good chronicler, a skillful interviewer and an expert in sprinkling texts and after-dinners with irony. But if he was something, he is a reporter, that specialty for which skill, patience, time and bosses with the same or more patience and also some skill are required.
Interview | José Martí Gómez: “It was time for it to be known that King Juan Carlos is a gulf”
We say goodbye to many with the title of teacher and sometimes it is an exaggerated treatment, more the result of respect than merit. This is not the case of Martí Gómez, someone who treated ministers and thugs (we already know that cheaters often win the first) and always did so with the same respect, whether he was in an office with flags or in the Raval that he had so well x-rayed. In his book ‘Company Animals’ he portrayed real stories of robbers and in ‘Los Lara’ he portrayed a successful saga. Heads and tails of that “messy personal chronicle” that he summarized in ‘The most beautiful job in the world’. That if García Márquez and he said it, maybe it’s true, although there are days when it’s hard to believe.
He was born in Morella in 1937 and reviewing his life is going through the transition through the eyes of those who would never have had a voice if he had not given it to them. He learned through them and that allowed him to live many lives as well. Decent lives and other sluts, those of winners and those of losers. He said that one had to approach the sources and the protagonists of his stories with humility and recommended listening in order to do the job well. Hear? Yes, that which demands attention and respect in interviews because the important thing is or should be the answers. A deference to the dignity of the reader, listener or viewer, he summed it up. His face-to-face interviews with Josep Ramoneda should be a subject in journalism faculties.
If you are not in sections such as Opinion or Closing, you have to step on the street. It’s obvious, but when I remembered it, it seemed like I was talking about a world in danger of extinction. He was one of those who used to be outside at a time when newsrooms still shouted (he also smoked and in the nobler ones there was even a cart with drinks). He started out as a proofreader at Barcelona Newspaper and Huertas Clavería was the one who helped him get into The Catalan Post. Then I would sign The Newspaper, The Vanguard, THE COUNTRY and The world. We radio sufferers also followed him on La Ser. When he jumped off the show, we jumped with him.
Javier del Pino was right when he explained that although Martí Gómez left the antenna, he would not retire. He kept calling his sources, some really retired and others who were also resisting. Commissioners, politicians and professional colleagues. He answered the emails as ‘El Martí’, he had a Twitter account because one of his three grandchildren told him that if he didn’t tweet he would be outdated and a blog.
He liked to talk about politics and recall his conversations with Jordi Pujol or Felipe González. He claimed the journalist capable of facing power, although he recognized that the precariousness of many media did not invite one to be brave. Throughout his life, he received 27 lawsuits that ended in 27 acquittals. He regretted that now there are no politicians who deserve the description of statesman and when in Catalonia it seemed impossible not to be in any trench he declared himself equidistant. That also required courage.
The best reporter in Spain has died, as Enric González defined him long ago. And we aspiring journalists are a little more orphaned today.