The journalist, who has identified his name with investigative journalism, looks back on his journey from the first reports to the most dangerous ones, describes the stories that motivate him, the principles of investigative journalism, failures, dismissals and the times he said "No", explaining why a journalist is the one who is hesitant to ask...
A journey of endurance in the adventure of journalism
By Christina Katsantoni
Translated by Alexandros Theodoropoulos
Journalism for Tasos Telloglou is a great journey. A journey that has principles, upheavals and intense emotions. A journey that requires effort and time, constant mobility, perseverance and above all, endurance. A journey, which is not a speed race, not a sprint, but a life race.
His professional life is evolving to a great extent on the road and in the car, with which he constantly moves from one place to another to meet people and to reach their stories through their narratives which at the end, become published. A job that requires willingness to walk the extra mile and not be afraid to destroy the surface, reversing what the Americans say: “Never destroy an interesting story”. For Tasos Telloglou it’s the opposite: always destroy the story, until you find what really exists behind it.
Growing up with Deutsche Welle and BBC
Curiosity about what is happening in the world has been cultivated since his childhood. He grew up in the centre of Athens and has recollections of unforgettable childhood summers in Paros, at a time when the island still had no electricity or tourists. Tasos Telloglou's family was politicised, his relatives were exiled or arrested for their action against the dictatorship, while inside the house they listened passionately to Deutsche Welle and the BBC.
He was involved very early in the Communist Youth, something that at the time was unheard of for his family. After finishing school, at the urging of his father, he chose Law which was a great school for him. It gave him the opportunity to get in touch with prominent personalities and attend lectures of people like George Alexandros Magakis in Criminal Law and Emmanuel Roukounas in International Law.
He got a first sense of what work really means when, as a member of the Communist Youth, he began working in factories and construction sites. At the same time, he started traveling mainly to Eastern European countries to get a taste of what was really happening in the world.
The beginning and the first front page
In 1985, having already published articles several times to the “Guide”, he decided to take part in a short story competition organised by "Ta Nea", with a story about a postman who opened letters. His story gives him the first prize, which in addition to the amount of 100.00 drachmas, was recruitment. He meets Lykourgos Kominis, who sends him to a new newspaper of the time, so in 1986, he became part of "Proti" newspaper.
He started his reporting on local issues. His first front page was born when luck and the need for milk led him to a dairy where he heard the news for the sale of a hotel.
Two years after his arrival in the newspaper, he went to London to cover the topic of the health condition of the then Prime Minister of Greece, Andreas Papandreou. He was the youngest and the most inexperienced among the other journalists there, such as Kostas Hardavellas, Lampis Tsirigotakis and Georgios Lianis who at the time called him Tom Sawyer.
Developing investigative journalism
Since then, the young "Tom Sawyer" has grown up, but the adventure of journalism continues for him with numerous stations inside and outside the borders (such as "Kathimerini", ANT1, correspondent in Germany for 7 years, Mega, "Vima", Skai ...), great successes or disappointments, persistence and dedication to investigative journalism.
In 1998, Tasos Telloglou together with Alexis Papahelas and Pavlos Tsimas created the "Black Box", an investigative journalism show, which became very popular among the public and left its own mark in the history of television. Other shows on different channels and numerous crucial investigations followed. On television alone, he has produced and presented more than 250 long-running reports, while for his work he has been repeatedly awarded the Faces Award, but also the Botsi Journalism Award.
For Tasos Telloglou, what still matters are the stories that motivate him to investigate. Stories that have twists, that are different in reality from what they seem and have given him the opportunity, when the others can’t make it, to continue on the long journey of endurance, guided by the phrase he once heard as a child from one of his coaches in Panionios: "It’s not a sprint, you idiot…”.