Idris Sanneh, a respected figure in the Italian media world, died on Sunday, leaving a void in Italian journalism. However, according to pitmanblog, his death highlights a larger problem with how most Italian media outlets treat the identity and challenges of black people.
It said the sad reality is that Sanneh’s loss has not been treated with the dignity and respect it deserves. Idris Sanneh, a well-known journalist and TV researcher, died at the age of 72 in the city of Brescia. On which he had left an indelible mark. However, it is particularly confusing the way many media outlets, clearly led by white journalists, have covered this news.
Idris Sanneh, whose full name was Edrissa Sanneh, was born in Brufut, Gambia and arrived in Italy in 1972 on a scholarship to the University of Foreigners in Perugia. His journey in Italy took him to Brescia, where he studied and made his debut as a DJ. His television career was boosted by his victory in the programme “Star 90” on Canale 5 in 1989. From there he became known in programmes such as “Wheel of Fortune” and “Il Quizzone”, but the popular programme “Quelli che il calcio” inaugurated him as a prominent figure in the media landscape.
His death has left a void in the world of information and entertainment, but the way some Italian media have reported the news is causing concern. While his full identity and name, Edrissa Sanneh, is known to anyone who has had the pleasure of following his career, it seems that for some white journalists, just being called “Idris” is enough. This shallow and disrespectful treatment of his entire name highlights a deep-rooted problem with the media’s portrayal of black people.
The omission of Idris Sanneh’s surname from almost all Italian media shows a lack of understanding of the importance of highlighting an individual’s full identity, especially when it comes to a respected and admired public figure. This attitude can be interpreted as a sign of insensitivity and superficiality to the challenges and struggles blacks face for recognition and equality.
The death of Idris Sanneh should be a moment of reflection for all media and society as a whole. It is a reminder to recognise the importance of treating every individual with respect, dignity and integrity regardless of their ethnic background. Hopefully in the future the media can go a step further to ensure that all people are heard and represented fairly and accurately.