April 14. 2024. 6:17

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Former PM Matteo Renzi starts media career

Italia Viva leader and Senator Matteo Renzi will become the new director of the in-depth political newspaper Il Riformista from May while keeping his job as Senator.

He disclosed that he would serve in the role for one year and that there would be a managing editor at his side, since Renzi is not a journalist.

“I have accepted a fascinating challenge: for one year, I will be the editor of ‘Il Riformista”, he disclosed Wednesday on Twitter, announcing the press conference at the Stampa Estera (Foreign Press) headquarters in Rome.

The founder of Italia Viva recently stepped down in favour of Carlo Calenda (Azione), leader of the new political project devised by the two: the Third Pole.

Both Italia Viva and Azione are part, along with the Renaissance, of the political group Renew Europe in the European Parliament.

“Renzi has not been in the governing bodies of the Third Pole for a long time already; he took a step back. He promised (to do it), and he did it, that’s it. It is in the facts he has fulfilled a promise made to the Italians”, Carlo Calenda told Tgcom24.

At the press conference, Renzi added that the first to know about the news was Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (Fratelli d’Italia/ECR), as Renzi will continue to be a senator.

“I’m not leaving but doubling down, I’m going to continue to be an opposition parliamentarian, to speak in the House, to do exactly what I was doing, but I’m putting a heavy load on it, trying to do something that the country needs”, Renzi said, pointing out that he is not the first head of a news outlet to be a parliamentarian at the same time.

First criticism

One of the first criticisms comes from the 5 Star Movement, with MPs Anna Laura Orrico and Luca Pirondini emphasising the paper’s impartiality, potentially compromised by the new management.

“It is frankly worrying that a parliamentarian amid activity is simultaneously running a daily newspaper. Renzi doesn’t see or pretends not to see that there are obvious reasons for expediency in taking on this dual position: the law doesn’t prohibit it, but what credibility can a newspaper run by a party leader have?” they commented.

“Any semblance of impartiality of the paper is compromised, but evidently for Renzi – accustomed to double offices outside Parliament – this is not a problem”, they added, referring to the former PM’s consultancies in Saudi Arabia.

Hard on Renzi was Culture Undersecretary and art critic Vittorio Sgarbi, who called him “incompetent”.

“I find him consistent with his position close to Forza Italia (EPP), he is a natural exponent of Forza Italia”, Sgarbi commented, “When Berlusconi will lose direct control (of the party), he will be inside that (political) area”.

“He is great at politics, but the people don’t like him because people don’t want to be taken for a ride”, Sgarbi continued. However, “being a newspaper editor can be very effective; I approve it”.

(Federica Pascale | EURACTIV.it)