Thursday, October 28

The uncomfortable truths of Iñaki

The goodbye of Iñaki Gabilondo is not only bad news for SER listeners and for those of us who dedicate ourselves to journalism. It is for those who every day have more questions than answers, those who do not want to dig trenches or place themselves in them, those who do not conceive of democracy as a permanent harassment and demolition of the adversary. Iñaki has retired as he wanted, with discretion and a little later than the body requested. “It’s over now,” he summed up before Aimar Bretos, the radio journalist who is in a better position to preserve the honesty and rigor of the former director of the program. Hour 25 for two years.

Complacency in some cases and cynicism in others (the two are often mixed) have been gaining ground as news companies lost resources. Among those who came later there are those who made blackmail their reason for being from day one. The rest of us have been too silent due to a wrong union conception. Their bad practices end up harming us all. “Journalism must ask itself what people have the right to know, but if what we ask ourselves is only what people want to hear, we distort our work,” Iñaki reflected in a recommended interview that Xosé Hermida did to him in April. It is more convenient and often more profitable to reaffirm your convictions, whatever they may be, to listeners, viewers or readers, rather than offering them information and opinion pieces that may make them uncomfortable.

“Democracy is a game of tensions, it was invented to disagree and it is the very essence of democracy, but if there are no elements in common it does not work. There are things that cannot be done without agreement. As there is no possibility of agreement, the We are leaving more important things, “Gabilondo warned this Tuesday night. It is a warning that is used for the Catalan conflict, the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary or to decide what model of public health and education we need.

Spanish democracy has settled in the mud and the media also have to ask ourselves what we could do better so that it does not continue to get muddy. Treating the far right for what it is could be a good start. Even so, some politicians might wonder if it is not worth taking the example of their German colleagues and not normalizing or copying xenophobic and sexist discourses.

Iñaki says that he does not want to become a defeatist voice that infects listeners with his pessimism every morning in the face of a polarization that contaminates everything and seems unstoppable. It’s a shame because from a left-wing perspective that he has never hidden, his gaze was still far from sectarianism or biased interpretations.

Excuse this personal note to finish. Surely all of us who started in the SER and spent an important stage of our life there, not just work, have some memory that marked us. Mine was the coverage of the murder of Ernest Lluch, who was also a collaborator on La Ventana presented by Gemma Nierga. During the demonstration against the attack perpetrated by ETA, we reported live on the maneuvers of La Moncloa to prevent the Lehendakari Ibarretxe from being at the head. The government of José María Aznar, which did not want the controversy to transcend, tried to deny it despite knowing it was true. The next day, Iñaki opened Hoy por Hoy, making it clear that the government was lying. “Moncloa denies, but the SER maintains that Aznar has prevented the presence of Ibarretxe at the head.” So thank you for that day and for reminding us that we must preserve quality and independence even if they make it increasingly difficult for us.