sitting in a popular cafe', downtown, in a random afternoon, not so long ago, i was introduced to the politics editor of il messaggero. this sicilian guy, lively and talkative, mentioned that he had been a disciple of enzo biagi. i felt honoured to have met someone who had been so close to a champion of press freedom to his last days.
biagi passed away last week, after a seventy year career taken off in '38 at the Resto del Carlino. in '43 he joined the partisans and in the '60s he worked regularly for RAI, inventing many programmes and interviewing various personalities (such as tatcher, godafy. etc.). although he never disclosed his political credo, he was a radical and hastily criticised the path between the christian democrats and the right wing. in 2002 (incidentally when i left the country), berlusca, then prime minister, sacked him from RAI and he resumed his role on television only when prodi went to power. he was also fond of films and interviewed fellini and wrote an interview-bio of mastroianni.
significantly, one of his last interviews was to saviano - author of gomorra, which because of its revelations about the neapolitan crime organisation (camorra), has to be constantly escorted by the police.