An interview with Mario Bonsignore, the creator of English News
-How has the pandemic changed your job?
“My communication and marketing job is completely different now. I work for companies by giving them journalistic news to be published, but fortunately this process has always been online. I also used to plan school trips to Malta to let students see journalism with their own eyes and to let them improve their English. ‘Covid-19 can’t set back my work’ I said to myself, and I created a website called “English News” to give students the same opportunity but online”.
-Despite the pandemic were there any positive aspects?
“Thanks to online meetings I have been able to know all the students face to face while before I couldn’t always go to Malta with them. Even though being my guests in real life is much better, I could see a lot of enthusiasm for online meetings ”.
-Was it difficult to readjust everything considering the impossibility of travelling?
“This was the hardest part to deal with because I had to suspend my house and office rents in Malta. I spent my whole life travelling all around the world, and I love the international atmosphere in Malta, a special and famous island full of opportunities. I haven’t been there for more than one year now, the reason why I really miss it both from a human, working and social point of view”.
-Was it hard to handle fake news during the pandemic?
“I am a fake news enemy and I think that the government should pass a law against cruel and frustrated people who post fake news on the web. I tried to respond to some but they always know what to write to convince people they are right. For example I read on Facebook comments that wished death to political opponents and when I expressed my opinion I was insulted with words such as ‘fool’ “.
-Do you have any pending projects due to COVID?
“I put a lot of enthusiasm in doing my job and I like coming up with new ideas. Now I’m working on a new journal called “Noi news”, which tells the stories of sicilian excellences. However, I had also planned a trip to the United States, which I consider a great source of inspiration, which failed due to the pandemic”.
-How did online meetings affect the relationships with students?
“It is certainly better to work face to face because there is more participation, while online there is more shyness and connection problems. I feel sorry for the students because they can’t watch how the company really works and the birth of a journal – creative process, production line and real journalists”.