Leila Guerriero and the place of journalism in the pandemic: “Today more than ever there is a disconnection of the trade with the reality of the people”


There is a general consensus among journalists most passionate about the trade that says that Leila Guerriero It is a reference. It certainly is. In his books he has been in charge of narrating from the chronicle generally darkened and less crowded areas. Just name The suicides of the end of the world. Chronicle of a Patagonian people (2006), American plane (2013) and Opus Gelber. Portrait of a pianist (2019).

On Tuesday afternoon it was via streaming in the cycle organized by Fes Comunicación, Fundación Gabo and Altair Mgazine. It was titled “The best journalism is yet to come” and Pere Ortín was the interviewer. Here are fifteen of his strongest phrases from that conversation.

“There was a scare reaction from many colleagues, and in a way, beyond being a situation where you have to be very careful, they became a kind of scare promoter.”

“There has been a journalistic speech very columnar with this idea of ​​the powerful, let’s say,” do not protest that I take care of you. ” So any voice that dares to point out is seen as a somewhat dangerous voice. ”

“It seems that public discourse has run out of nuances.”

“It is a difficult time for dissent, but also very interesting. Writing and thinking from discomfort, from not knowing where to put yourself, is a position of reading reality that is extremely interesting to me. ”

“I am interested in the semantic field that is beginning to build around the pandemic. Easily said, the words with which power refers to these situations, which are words proposed by sanitarians and infectologists. Obviously they know a lot about these things, but it is a very dehumanized speech. It doesn’t have to be any other way: they dedicate their lives to studying things that are neither alive nor dead, that are neither good nor bad, that are replicating machines. This goes into public discourse and journalists have appropriated it. ”

“I am struck by the semantic field that began to develop around the infected. The stigma. The infected is an irresponsible, is a suspect. It must be isolated, confined. The semantic field that develops around the infected is tremendous. ”

“It is devastating to see journalists on television programs talking to people and saying: le All these things happen because people are irresponsible. You have to stay home! Let’s see if they understand! ‘ They are journalists who work as panelists on television, on the radio, they have a column in the newspaper … they have at least four fixed salaries. And they’re talking to people who can’t get out of their house for three months. It is not only people in a state of extreme poverty, but also a man who owns a hair salon. I feel that there is more than ever a disconnection of the trade with the reality of the people, with the day to day of the people ”.

“I always think that the chronicler is the one that comes after. So the story is the opposite of the news: we need time. “

“The true story of this time is the story of fear. And even for those of us who are not scared to death, there is fright. ”

“At times like these, if journalism cannot provide a tool for thinking, a camera biased and diagonally, the functional attitude is replicated to the powerful, which is the attitude of the flock.”

“The discourse that power wants us to buy is that all journalism is suspicious, all journalism is servile, and it is not.”

“You have to reincarnate the data. We journalists have to give the data but also tell what they mean, behind the scenes, embody those stories. ”

“I have the impression that all of this is going to be trauma, rather than experience. It will take a lot of effort to find a narrative for it, because it is a moment of debacle but also of enormous immobility. ”

“I don’t think the only way to say interesting things is to disagree.”

“As long as we don’t get into the herd, journalism has a lot to contribute.”